Welcome back readers to our April edition of #JiffyShopTalk: where we take some time each month to have a chat that will boost your know-how, learn expert tips from our team, and lengthen the life of your vehicle. So never fear novices – Jiffy does more than just oil changes – we’ll make you that savvy car owner you’ve always wanted to be!

Our topic of the month – Car “Hacks”

The Internet is pretty neat as the amount of information out there is astounding – but that doesn’t mean it’s right. There are plenty of tips for car maintenance that are great ideas, but sadly just as many that are no good at all. And since spring is the season everyone is gearing their vehicles up for the road ahead, we thought we’d protect you from some of the not-so-handy car hacks and maintenance tips out there!

Stretching Tires – Looks Cool, Drives Horribly

Apparently, tire stretching is catching on in certain forum circles – where a tire is fitted to a rim that is larger than the rim for which is was built for. Now, out the gate, this should seem like not a great idea, but some people argue that tire stretching is still safe. We wouldn’t recommend it though. Sure, large rims look neat, but stretching the tread gives you less traction, less speed, less protection from blowouts, and should your insurer find out – they will be none too impressed. Best to not stretch your luck too thin (we couldn’t resist) and keep the size your manufacturer recommends.

Laundry Detergent for Car Wash – Your Car is Not Clothing…

This one has been floating around for a while, and while it may seem harmless to throw some soap on your car and give a wash regardless of whether or not its “car soap” (what harm could soap do?) – it’s really not a good idea. The use of laundry soap can strip the wax from your car and age your paint (car paint is extremely fragile – don’t believe us – check out our previous post on what a snow brush can do to your paint job.

Along with possibly damaging your car, it can also hurt the environment. When you wash your car in your driveway, the dirty water from the wash, which contains soap, detergent, and vehicle residues, enters storm drains intended only for rainwater. As a result, pollutants like phosphate, grease, and oil end up in our streams, lakes, and rivers – yuck! Plus, the average home car wash consumes about 116 gallons of water — that’s 2 to 3 times more than most commercial car washes. It’s a good idea to stick with car washes or buy soap made for vehicles – it’ll be cheaper than a new paint job.

 Boiling Water as De-Icer – Save It For Tea

The obvious way to counteract cold is with heat. So, in the winter, when you come out to your car and there is a lovely coat of fresh ice covering your windshield and windows, what do you do? Most drivers will turn the car on, crank the heat and wait for the ice to disappear while they enjoy their morning coffee. More tenacious folk may get out and scrape the ice away themselves. However, there is one hack that has been floating around Facebook for a while now – pouring hot or even boiling hot water directly onto an icy windshield! This winter car care hack is certainly one to avoid at all costs. Depending on the temperature difference between the cold window and the hot water, you have the potential to shatter your windshield, and there is no easy or affordable fix for that.

Do you have any car care tips that’d you’d like to share? Tweet us about it at @JiffyLubeOn with the hashtag #JiffyShopTalk!