Homemaking Divas

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Auto Antifreeze

Learn how to check and fill a car's antifreeze

Learn how to check and fill a car’s antifreeze

If you aren’t sure where the coolant reservoir is you can look for your vehicle’s manual or you can search on the internet for the make and model of your vehicle.

 
 

When I checked my antifreeze level on my coolant reservoir it was pretty low.  Pictured at the left is a blue line where my antifreeze level was and the arrow shows where the level was supposed to be.  You should check the antifreeze level when the vehicle is cold and add the fluid when it’s cold. 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

When I did a search for my car it brought up pictures of what the reservoir looks like. The cap on the coolant reservoir usually has a picture indicating it is the coolant reservoir

 
 

One of the articles I read on the internet talked about how important it is to get the right mixture of water and antifreeze. The article taught how to buy a tool to test the mixture.   (This method is more difficult)

My nephew, who is a mechanic, told me to just go to the automotive store and ask the employees to help me find the premixed antifreeze.  Every vehicle has different requirements.  The Automotive shop should be able to look up the required antifreeze for your car.  The information can also be found in the vehicle owner’s manual. 

Do not mix different colors or types of coolant in your vehicle. Make sure the correct coolant is used. Mixing of engine coolants may harm your engine’s cooling system. The use of an improper coolant may harm engine and cooling system components and may void the warranty.

The Owner’s manual has a section on the coolant Maintenance and Specifications for the engine.  As an example I have pasted the specifications for my Auto (A Ford Escape)

auto-antifreeze2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is helpful to use a funnel when pouring the antifreeze into the coolant reservoir. Fill to the cold fill level. 

 

 

 

 

For all other vehicles, which have a coolant degas system with a pressurized cap, follow the directions in the owner’s manual.

 

Printable file about how to check and add antifreeze to a vehicle
 
 

Helpful article about coolant antifreeze
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-check-a-vehicles-coolantantifreeze.html

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Moldy Car Air-Conditioner

Suggestions to try when your car air-conditioner smells moldy

The bad smell can often start by going through a drive-through car wash with your air conditioner on the setting “intake from the outside.” This allows water to be splashed in through the vents around the windshield wiper area. Either turn your air off or put it on the setting “re-circulate” so no outside dirty water can get into the air conditioning system.
Run your car air conditioner on regular setting most of the time, rather than on maximum. Constantly leaving it on maximum can leave odor-causing moisture inside the system. If you do use the max setting, change it to regular shortly before you turn the car off. This will give the air conditioning system a chance to dry out and prevent mildew from forming.

Try Lysol spray to get rid of the odor. Open the windows of the car. Turn on the air conditioner, but turn off the recirculation so the air conditioner will bring in clean outside air. Spray Lysol directly into the vents around the windshield area on the outside of your car. Spray both the driver side and passenger side vents. Change to “re-circulate” air. The inside air flow is stronger and will flush the Lysol through the system. Let the air run for a little while. If you have a garage you can leave your car in over night, let the windows stay down so the Lysol will dissipate. If you live in a hot humid area you might want to repeat every couple of months throughout the summer.
 
 

Tips for a Moldy Car Air Conditioner

Moldy Car Air Conditioner


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Put a new air filter into your car with the next oil change. Dirt, dust mites, stagnant water and other pollutants collect on the filter. Sometimes changing the filter can help to get rid of the odor.Purchase a spray that eliminates odors and purifies the air. It can be purchased at your local auto care center or hardware store. There are brands especially for cleaning the air conditioning and heating systems in vehicles. Spray directly into the exterior air intake vents and also the inside air conditioner vents to get rid of the odor. Doing this once a year may prevent odors from returning.

If these suggestions don’t take care of the problem try to find a Mold Remover with an enzyme solution in it.
Search on Google for a mold remover with an ezyme solution. Also, Search on Google in your city and state to bring up companies that might sale the solution. A company that does disaster clean up may sale some of the solution to you. Tell them you want to clean the air conditioner in your car so they can teach you how to mix the solution.
Mix up the enzyme solution. Generally, this involves putting a prescribed amount of water and solution into a clean container. You must follow the directions that come with the enzyme solution to ensure your mixture is effective. An enzyme solution literally eats the mold, but will not necessarily work if you do not mix it correctly. You want to mix the solution, per the brand’s directions, in your spray bottle.
Spray at least 12 squirts into each of your car’s air-conditioning vents. Wipe off the excess with your damp rag.
Allow the car to sit overnight. This allows the enzymes the time required to eat the mold. Do not run your car during this period.
The next day, turn your regular car fan to high power, so it can blow outside air through the vents. This dries the enzyme solution, and with it, the mold. The enzymes will have destroyed the mold. Once the vents are dry, mold no longer is a problem.

Click here for the printable file about a Moldy Car Air Conditioner

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Rekey a Door Lock with a Smartkey

The first time I changed my door lock I used a Locksmith I did a google search on locksmiths in my city and I started calling.

Some good questions to ask over the phone are:
How much will it cost to rekey a door lock in (your location)?
Tell them it is not an emergency because they might charge more if you are in a hurry.
Does that amount include the trip charge?
How many keys are included with the price?
If your door lock has a smartkey tell them (after they give you the first price). It is easier for them to change the door lock if you have a smartkey lock and should cost less. If they don’t lower the price consider that as a red flag. The locksmiths always have the smartkey tools so if you don’t have one that is not a problem for them.

*Note: Schedule a time for them to come when you are not home alone or ask a neighbor to come over during the scheduled time

Change a Door Lock with a Smartkey

Change a Door Lock with a Smartkey

To figure out if your door lock has a smartkey feature, look at your lock for a small horizontal hole above the slot where the key goes into your door. (See the red circle around this hole in the picture below.) This hole is where the smartkey tool is inserted when the lock is re-keyed

If you don’t have the smartkey tool, consider asking the locksmith if you can buy a smartkey tool. Once you have this tool you can rekey the door yourself.

When the locksmith came to my house I asked the locksmith if she could teach me how to change the lock myself.

Instruction:

1. Put the working key in the door lock. Turn the lock so that it is in locking position and the key is horizontal.

2. Insert the smartkey tool in the little hole above the key then carefully remove the tool without moving the hole.

3. Carefully remove the old key (don’t turn it at all, just pull it out) and put the new key in all the way. Turn this new key to the unlock, vertical position.

The instructions that came with my smartkey tool are better (they are on the printable file)
Click here for a printable file on how to Rekey a Lock with a smartkey

The locksmith told me to keep the old keys because I could use them again if I wanted to change the lock back.

My first experience in re-keying my door

I went to the locksmith and showed them my current door key.  I asked them to make a new key and two additional copies.  It cost $8.00. (instead of $45-70 for the locksmith to come out)

After I rekeyed the lock using the smartkey, I then couldn’t get either key to work.  I called the manufacturer (1800-327-5625) and they told me the new key wasn’t all the way in the lock when I was rekeying the lock.   The manufacturer instructed me put the new key all the way in and try to turn, but it wouldn’t turn.  They then instructed me pull it out a little bit and it wouldn’t turn..  They instructed me pull it out just a little bit more and this time it turned.   They walked me thru the rekey steps again and I had the key all the way in this time so it was successful.

 

Ok.. I finally tagged all of my keys and they are organized.  I labeled the bags the smartkey tools were in, one for the front door and one for the back door.  I even found my extra garage door opener.
One more thing off my to-do list

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