Author Archive

Where to Put Windshield Wiper Fluid in Your Car

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

Your vehicle’s windshield wiper fluid should be checked and maintained frequently, and luckily this task couldn’t be much easier. Here we’ll talk about where to put windshield wiper fluid, how to check it and what kind you should be using.

Why You Should Care — and Check Often

If you live somewhere that’s always sunny and wash your car every week, maybe you don’t ever use your windshield wipers much. For the rest of us, though, dirt, dust and brief rainstorms can be enough to make our vehicles filthy. Even following another vehicle down dusty, muddy or slushy road can have us reaching for the washer function on our windshield wipers year-round.Where to put windshield washer fluid

That kind of frequent use can drain a windshield washer fluid reservoir before you know it, so checking and topping yours off regularly is a smart practice. Windshield washer fluid can easily be taken for granted until your view suddenly becomes obstructed and you can’t clear what’s blocking it, so take care to avoid potentially dangerous situations by checking your fluid often.

Where to Put Windshield Wiper Fluid

Automakers figured out quickly that windshield washer fluid reservoirs should be transparent, clearly marked and large. Most hold at least a gallon of fluid, and some are even bigger, especially in vehicles with both front and rear wiper and washers.

As a result, the biggest plastic container of liquid under your hood is usually the windshield washer fluid reservoir. On newer cars, the lid is bright plastic (often blue) with a pictograph of a windshield, a wiper and spraying fluid.

Some reservoirs have a marking for the “fill line” that you shouldn’t go over when you’re refilling. Most newer cars seem to be moving away from that now and relying on common sense. Because the container is clear, you can see when the fluid is getting close to the neck of the opening, at which point you’ll want to stop pouring so you don’t waste any.

What Kind of Windshield Washer Fluid Should You Use?

There are different kinds of windshield washer fluid to consider. If you live or travel in a climate where the temperature drops to near or below freezing, you’ll want one with a low freezing point like 25 degrees below zero. That should keep it from freezing solid in the tank, in the washer lines or on your windshield as soon as it hits the cold glass.

Drivers from warm regions who take their vehicles to cold-weather homes should beware. The old washer fluid may not have anti-freezing properties, and when these formulas suddenly freeze on your windshield, they can turn it nearly opaque and block your view entirely — a scary and dangerous scenario. You can avoid this by using a de-icing washer fluid, which will accelerate the melting of the ice and frost on your windshield.

If you live in an area where insects or tree sap are major issues, there are also windshield washer formulations for removing bug guts and sticky saps.

The bottom line is that your garage should absolutely have a spare gallon or two of windshield washer fluid. On a long road trip, it might also be worth having one in your trunk. Check the level often, and top it off anytime you see it get to a quarter of a tank. Knowing you’ve got plenty of the right kind of washer fluid on hand means having peace of mind with the knowledge that this critical fluid won’t run out when you need it most.

Check out all the oils, chemicals and fluids available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on windshield washer fluid, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photos courtesy of Mike Hagerty.

The post Where to Put Windshield Wiper Fluid in Your Car appeared first on NAPA Know How Blog.

How to Install Pegboard

Sunday, March 7th, 2021

Okay, so you have an organization problem on your hands: tools scattered around the garage, on workbenches and shelves, and in drawers and toolboxes — not to mention all that digging around for what you need when the time comes. Ideally, you want neatness and visibility. Let’s talk about how to install pegboard for better organization of your tools.

Pegboard?An array of tools hung on pegboard

Yes, there’s a name for those square panels with all the holes drilled in them. Brought to market in 1962 by the Masonite Corporation, Peg-Board began as a copyrighted (and since expired) brand name for tempered wood-based material called hardboard filled with evenly drilled holes.

Today, pegboard is such a commonplace implement that you may have a hard time imagining mechanics, craftsmen and hobbyists ever getting by without it. When it came out, stores that had a lot of hanging items went for Peg-Board big time, as did more than a few garages. Simple pieces of metal called peg hooks go into the board on one end and hold tools with the other. This board-and-hook combination is endlessly modular and can be quickly rearranged to suit your organizational needs. It could be your best bet for getting your favorite tools in order.

Choosing a material

How to install pegboard in your case will depend on what kind you choose. The old workhorse is the processed hardboard, which is lightweight, sturdy and inexpensive, but there’s also plastic and metal variants of pegboard.

The right choice for most home garage and workshop settings will likely be hardboard due to its availability, durability and cost. When you’re shopping, handle the materials and see what you like best.

Installing your pegboard

A key part of installing pegboard is to allow some space between the board and the wall on which you’re mounting it. You’ll need this room to insert and remove the hooks, which are designed to be reconfigured in seconds to suit your needs.

There are two ways to do this. Plastic and metal pegboard are actually fashioned with edges that provide at least a half-inch of clearance between the rear face of the board and the wall. If you’re going with hardboard, you need what are called furring strips — a few lengths of wood glued or screwed to the back of the pegboard to space it out from the wall.

The next step is to make sure your pegboard is properly supported. Don’t just screw it into the drywall, as this surface isn’t meant to bear the kind of weight you’d be putting on it. Instead, use a stud finder, mark your points, install drywall anchors, and make sure the screws go through the pegboard and the furring strip and into the anchors in the studs behind the drywall. Make sure your screws are up to the job too — tools can be heavy, and you’ll likely be putting quite a few up on your pegboard. Three-inch drywall screws are a good choice.

Using the right tools can make this job a breeze. A good power cordless drill, for example, is a great thing to have in any case, and using one here should make the job quick and easy. You can likely have your pegboard wall up in your garage in half an afternoon. With that done, all of your tools can be proudly displayed and sensibly organized in a way that allows you to spot what you need at a glance. Good luck!

Check out all the tools and equipment available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to install pegboard, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The post How to Install Pegboard appeared first on NAPA Know How Blog.