How to care for your car’s leather interior

Having a car with a leather interior is a luxury. If you want the leather to hold up during all of the wear and tear it receives from rideshare, you have to take care of it.  

Because leather is a natural material, it is subject to fading and cracking from the sun. To avoid this, you need to routinely condition the leather to keep it looking like new. GoldenEagle has a list of 5 steps to follow:

  1. Vacuum – Vacuum your seats to remove any loose dust and dirt before conditioning
  2. Apply a leather cleaner – Spray your preferred leather cleaner onto your seats and use a soft-bristled brush to gently agitate any problem areas. The most common spots are the creases and places where skin or hair routinely comes into contact with the leather.
  3. Wipe dry – Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to wipe away any excess moisture. The seats will remain somewhat damp to the touch unless they have been coated. Allow up to 24 hours for the seats to dry depending on your climate
  4. Apply a leather conditioner – Apply your preferred leather conditioner generously and evenly. Avoid letting it pool up in a single area to make sure you have even coverage. A good leather conditioner will keep the leather moist which prevents cracking, while also providing UV protection to maintain the color. After application, allow 4-6 hours for the seats to absorb the conditioner.
  5. Wipe dry – Using a clean, dry microfiber towel wipe off any excess conditioner and then wipe until fully dry.

Spending a few minutes every 3-6 months is the best way to ensure your car’s leather holds onto its luxurious look. 

Tomorrow: Uber Premium begins on August 20th

The top 5 car care tips for summer

Keeping our cars in top shape is important year-round. However, when it comes to summertime there are some specific considerations to take into account.

The Automotive Training Center suggests the following:

  1. Keep your engine cool – keeping an eye on coolant levels under the hoodies important. Make sure that you check and top off coolant levels every few weeks.
  2. Have the AC unit inspected – An AC system that’s on its way out won’t last through the heat of the summer. It pays to get it inspected by a certified technician to remain cool throughout the summer.
  3. Replace your windshield wipes – Summer thunderstorms are known for their rain-dumping nature. Switching out your wiper blades for a new set, especially if the same pair has already served you for several seasons.
  4. Change your oil more frequently – If you’ve got long road trips, or just tend to drive shorter trips more often in the summer, your oil change frequency needs to adjust accordingly. During summer travel, follow your manual’s summertime maintenance schedule for your car which can be found inside its owner’s manual.
  5. Check your tires – As temperatures climb into the 80s and 90s, your tires are at a higher risk for a blowout. This makes monitoring pressure levels paramount. Using your vehicle’s onboard monitoring system is great, but you also want to use a manual gauge to check the pressure at least once a month during hotter weather.

Following these tips will not only help to keep your car running without issue through these hot months and make you feel more confident.

Are there some good deals on new cars during Covid-19?

If you are in a good place financially, right now may be the best time to purchase a new car. Car sales are down dramatically as a result of Covid-19. According to the Wall Street Journal, sales are down 34% in the second quarter vs last year. Automakers are offering all kinds of incentives to get you into their showrooms.  

Car and Driver has a full list of deals being offered but here are some of the top picks:

  • Chrysler – 84 months of interest-free payments on their brands which include Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram.
  • General Motors – 84 months interest-free on most of their models and buyers can opt to defer the first 4 months of payments
  • Honda – buy or lease a new car and receive a $1000 credit, and you can defer the first 3 months of payment
  • Mazda – Deferral payments for up to three months and 0.9 percent APR for up to 60 months on select new vehicles. Returning owners can qualify for a $1500 credit toward any new-vehicle purchase or lease.

These are just a few of the deals out there but there are many more and new incentives seem to pop up almost daily. Be sure to check the website of your favorite auto manufacturers as well as your local dealers.

Tomorrow: The top 5 care tips for summer

The benefits of keeping your tires properly inflated

Keeping your tires inflated to their recommended PSI is an important part of car maintenance. It is one of the easiest things to maintain but too often neglected.

Tires are at their peak performance when they are inflated correctly. According to Antwerpen Toyota there are 3 key benefits of proper tire inflation

  1. It prevents premature tire wear – Simple put, driving on under-inflated tires makes them wear out sooner. Over-inflation also has the same effect because tires will wear out unevenly.
  2. Better gas mileage – According to FuelEconomy.gov, under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop.
  3. Reduces car emissions – When your tires are under-inflated, your car’s engine must work harder, causing higher levels of car emissions.

If you don’t have the luxury of knowing your car’s tire pressure simply by checking the readings on your dashboard, it’s a good idea to carry a tire pressure gauge with you. They are not expensive and an easy item to keep in the glove box. When checking tire pressure it is best done when your car has been still for a while. Driving causes your tires to heat and thus will increase the pressure reading. According to cars.com you can typically find your car’s tire PSI on a sticker on the car door frame or in the owner’s manual.

Having your tires inflated correctly is just a smart choice. It will save you money on gas and tire replacement costs. It will also help to protect the environment with less pollution and will lower the number of used tires appearing in our dumps. It’s a win-win!

Tomorrow: What are the risks of allowing minors in your car as a rideshare driver?

What a different ride!

As rideshare drivers we all have made changes, including wearing masks, rolling down windows and even installing car dividers between us and our passengers. This really impacts our experience – but what about the experience of the rider?

With Uber, riders must agree to wear a mask and they are warned that if they don’t comply, their ride can be canceled. 

Another change that many riders may not like is riding with the windows down. Not only is it windy, sometimes the noise this creates can be really loud, which is distracting and also makes it difficult for them to talk on their phones.

The change that may impact the rider the most is when a divider has been installed. Dividers effect air from freely flowing throughout your car, they also limit the rider’s ability to communicate with you the driver, and they may make riders feel claustrophobic or make it difficult for riders to see clearly where they are going. Not to mention that if dividers are not kept clean, it can make your car feel dirty and uncomfortable for the rider. Riders like a clean feeling car, especially right now.  Make sure you are cleaning a divider often to remove dust, smudges and fingerprints. If you have a plexiglass divider in your car here is what Tap Plastics says on how to maintain its appearance.

Even with all of the changes we as a society are all making, the one thing we can offer each other including our riders is compassion and understanding. 

Tomorrow: The benefits of keeping your tires properly inflated

How can you tell if it’s time for a brake job?

Keeping your car in top shape is an important part of being a rideshare driver. For the safety of ourselves and our riders, having good brakes is essential. This is especially true when you consider all of the stops and starts we do while driving in our cities and heavy traffic. 

So how can you tell when it is time for a brake job, what are the signs? Your tire maintenance shop will typically look at your brake pads when rotating the tires and usually give you an estimate on their remaining life. The site Your Mechanic says that you should replace your pads every 50,000 miles but this can vary based on your vehicle and driving habits.  If your brakes start making a squealing or scraping noise you need to have them checked right away. Brake pads have small metal hairs at the very bottom to let you know when they are wearing out. If you have your car’s tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles you will likely know all of this.

The cost per axle is around $250 but the cost can vary based on vehicle type. Putting off a brake job can be expensive. Failing to replace your pads can do damage to your car’s rotors. The rotors are what the pads press against to slow you down or bring your car to a stop. The average price for both brakes and rotors is between $400 and $550 per axle, so roughly twice the cost of a brake job alone.

It is easy to see that staying on top of your car’s maintenance is truly a way to save money and gives you the added benefit of feeling safer while driving!

Tomorrow: Here is why we rideshare drivers need to wear a mask