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A series of automotive related articles

Nine Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car Running Longer

January 4, 2020

Today, cars can last well beyond 100,000 or even 200,000 miles. What’s the secret? Maintenance. More specifically, it’s fluids and regular maintenance recommended in your owner’s manual. Below are 9 maintenance tips to make the engine, transmission and other expensive parts of your vehicle last longer and in some instances, keep you safer. Most importantly, read the owner’s manual to avoid thousands of dollars in repairs.

1.Check the oil. This simplest task to increase the life of your vehicle is to maintain the proper amount of oil in the engine. Change the oil and filter at the intervals recommended in the owner’s manual, for example, every 5,000, 7,500 or 10,000 miles. Also, make sure it’s the proper weight oil for your engine.

2.Timing belt replacement: Your car’s engine has either a rubber composite timing belt or timing chain. Rubber belts break and when they do that’s the end of the engine. If your car has a timing belt, it should be replaced at intervals recommended by the manufacturer, usually between 50,000 and 110,000 miles. The cost to replace the timing belt isn’t cheap but it is thousands less than rebuilding the engine.

3.Check power steering fluid: Newer vehicles have electric power steering so there are no fluids to worry about. However, older vehicles have a hydraulic power steering pump that is lubricated by power steering fluid. If the pump runs dry, it can fail and require a replacement costing hundreds of dollars. A few symptoms of a power steering problem are squealing noises when turning the steering wheel or heavy or stiff steering.

4.Transmission fluid replacement: Having the proper amount of fluid is critical because it cools the transmission, lubricates moving parts and smooths the shifts between gears. The fluid deteriorates over time and frequent stop-and-go driving or pulling a trailer accelerates deterioration. The manufacturers recommend more frequent fluid replacement under those conditions. Check the owner’s manual for details. Signs of transmission problems: If the fluid has a burnt smell this could be a signal that the it needs to be changed or that the transmission is developing mechanical issues.

5.Radiator coolant flushing: Coolant has rust inhibitors that break down over time. Rust and corrosion can build up and harm an engine, plug a thermostat and damage a water pump. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations or speak with a trusted mechanic.

6.Top off brake fluid: Brake fluid absorbs water over time which degrades its effectiveness in providing stopping power. Additionally, a brake system is not perfectly sealed so you can get condensation from the change of cold temperatures to hot. If you have too much water in the brake fluid, stepping on the brakes hard generates heat which in turn can boil the water in the line and as a result, increase the vehicle’s stopping distance.

7.Transfer case maintenance: This is a very expensive repair when things go wrong. The fluid inside the transfer case on all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles needs to be replaced at prescribed intervals. Follow the recommendations in the owner’s manual.

8. Rotate your tires: Tires are expensive, so you want them to last. The owner’s manual will say when the tires should be rotated and alignment checked. Equally important is maintaining the proper air pressure to get more miles out of each tire. A sticker on the driver’s door frame lists the tire pressure for the front and rear tires.

9. Have a clean engine air filter: A dirty air filer can reduce miles per gallon, hurt engine performance and contribute to higher engine emissions.

Tailgating Tips

August 15, 2018

When you think of fall activities, most Kansas Citians also think of football and tailgating. Whether you are a Chiefs, Tiger, Jayhawk or Wildcat fan, below are some tips and tricks to help make the most of your tailgating experience.


•Take advantage of apps designed specifically for tailgating prep.

•Check out the stadium website for rules and regulations on tailgating. No one wants a party foul to ruin your tailgate party.

•Check out the weather forecast. Will you need sun cover or a heater? Sunscreen or rain gear? Take this into consideration before you pack your car and head to the game.

•Plan to arrive three to four hours before the game starts. That way you’ll have plenty of time to set up for the event and clean up after the party.

•Cook and prep as much as you can before arriving. This way you don’t spend the whole time behind a grill or cutting up veggies.

•Refrigerate beverages overnight before packing up for game day.

•Label your coolers so guests can find drinks easily.

•Tool boxes are great for organizing supplies.

•Bring plates and silverware to your tailgate in a plastic bin with a lid. Seal it tightly on the way home when it’s full of dirty dishes.

•Don’t forget the chairs or somebody will be sitting on the cooler.

Must have supplies

•Spatulas, bottle openers, tongs, can opener, basting brush

•Toothpicks, wooden skewers

•Trash bags, paper towels, wet wipes, hand sanitizer

•Zip baggies, aluminum foil, masking or duct tape, sharpie


Check out these ideas to make the most of your tailgate party.

•Make sure your music device and speaker is all charged up so you can keep the tunes playing or listen to the pre-game show.

•Build a tailgate beer pong table.

•Football, horseshoes or corn hole. Basically, if it can be caught, tossed or played outside, bring it to the party.

Get Creative

•Attach magnets to your koozies so that you can just attach them to the car when you need two hands for eating.

•Use an empty laundry detergent dispenser as a hand-washing station.

•Turn one cooler into a warming oven using foil and hot bricks.

•Cook breakfast burritos on your grill using a skillet.

•For colder months, bring a variety of soups in thermoses and tin mugs.

•Pack portable jell shots in your team colors.

•Use cardboard six-pack containers to hold condiments and spices.

•Use bungie cords and attach a box fan to the top of the tent for better air movement and one to create a simple paper towel holder.


While the main idea at a tailgate is to have fun, we want you to be safe also. Review these tips to help reduce the risk of something going terribly wrong.

•Make sure to have jumper cables.

•Bring a metal bucket for still-glowing coals and make sure your grill is extinguished properly.

•Extinguish any kind of flame before leaving your tailgate for the game or to go home.

•Pack a mini first-aid kit.

And finally, check that you have your ticket before you leave your house. Check again at the tailgate. Because knowing where you left it will not get you into the stadium.

Understanding Tire Tread

August 15, 2018

A crucial component of vehicle safety is tire tread. Tire tread differs from one model to the next, but few realize the importance of tire tread or how and why it varies. In addition to providing an interesting look to a tire design, tire tread also serves as a critical role in automotive safety and performance. For this blog, we will concentrate on tire tread and how tread depth affects safety.

What is Tire Tread

Tire tread isn't a singular piece, but the portion of the tire that stretches from shoulder to shoulder where the tread meets the sidewall.

•Tread blocks, often referred to as the tread, is the part that actually touches the road.

•Between the tread blocks are the grooves and tread voids. Tread voids help give the tire its traction by acting in two ways:

oThey allow the tread blocks to move and flex as the tire tries to grip the road

oProvide the space for water to escape when roadways are wet.

Tires manufactured for wet weather have a higher number of voids compared to tread blocks, resulting in improved wet traction and braking ability.

Tread depth measures the height of the line extending from the deepest part of the tread void to the top of the tread block. This indicates the amount of remaining tread. Regularly checking your tire tread depth can help you determine when it is time to replace your tires.

Checking your Tread Depth

There are several popular ways to check your tire tread depth.

•Penny Test: Simply insert a penny into your tire's tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch and it's time to replace your tires.

•Wear Bars: Within the tread voids, there are small units of measure known as wear bars, a small line of rubber on the side of the tread blocks. These can be seen within the treads of a new tire, but become more prominent as tire tread begins to wear. Once the tread lugs reach the wear bar, it is recommended that the tire or tires be replaced.

•Tire Gauge: Place the probe end of your tread gauge into the void between the tread blocks. Gently push down on the gauge’s handles until the handles meet the top of the tread blocks and stops. This will cause a bar to extend out from the opposite end, toward you. Remove the tread gauge to check the tire tread depth reading.

Because tires can wear unevenly, try to locate the most worn portion of the tire or check the tread depth in multiple places.  

Can Hot Summer Temperatures Cause Your Car to Overheat? 

July 23, 2018

The Mid-West has been experiencing scorching temperatures this summer which has many people asking whether hot temperatures can cause their vehicle to overheat. While high temperatures can contribute to overheating, there are other factors to consider.

Common Engine Problems 

  • Cooling systems help keep the temperature of the engine down. If your cooling system has a leak, blockage or pump malfunction, the coolant may not be able to circulate properly. Also note that cooling system malfunctions aren’t just a problem when it’s hot; very cold temperatures can cause coolant to freeze and prevent circulation.
  • The thermostat is responsible for regulating the amount of coolant flowing through the car’s engine. A broken or malfunctioning one can easily cause your car to overheat.
  • Oil does more than just lubricate moving parts. It also helps remove excess heat from the engine. If your vehicle has low oil, it could cause your vehicle to run hot.
  • If your cooling fan isn’t turning on or running at the right level, it can cause your car to overheat. Radiator fans usually run on electric motors, so any motor mechanical problems can lead to your fan not providing enough cool air flow.

To avoid serious engine damage and expensive repairs it’s a good idea to find a reliable mechanic who can diagnose and service your car.

What To Do If Your Car Does Overheat

If you find yourself in a situation where your car overheats, follow these steps to ensure you and your vehicle remain safe:

  • Pull over, park your car and turn off the engine as soon as possible. Let your car cool for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • Open the hood of your car to allow the heat to clear out quickly.
  • Once your car has cooled off, turn the ignition to its first position (don’t start the engine). If you see that the temperature gauge is within a normal range and engine fluid levels are sufficient, try to start the engine.
  • If the engine makes unusual sounds or does not start, it’s best to play it safe and call for roadside assistance to have your car towed. This will allow for a mechanic to inspect the vehicle and make the necessary repairs.

What can you do to help prevent overheating?

You can feel the temperature difference between the sun and the shade and so can your car. Below are tips to help keep your car’s temperature down.

  • Park in the shade or use a sunshade to reduce heat inside the car.
  • Tinted windows can help keep your car cooler and protect your interior from sun damage. However, make sure you understand your state’s law on tinted windows.
  • Leave your windows open slightly so the hot air trapped inside can escape.
  • Switch your AC to the bottom vents and put your blower on high to push the air out. Once the car begins cooling, you can open the upper vents again.
  • Use the fresh air setting on your AC for five to 10 minutes instead of the re-circulation setting, which just moves around the hot trapped air.
  • Keep your eye on the temperature gauge. If it points toward hot, pull over, turn off the engine and let the car cool down.
  • Turning on the heat may be the last thing you want to do on a hot summer day, but it can pull hot air from the engine compartment and cool the engine. However, it won’t fix the underlying problem so you should take your vehicle to a mechanic when possible.
  • Add engine coolant. However, never add coolant to a hot engine. Wait for the engine to cool before removing the cap or pouring in coolant.
  • Even if you keep engine coolant at the right levels, it will eventually get dirty and need to be replaced. Mechanics recommend flushing your cooling system every 40,000 miles but check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • If your car battery is older than three years, it may not be providing the power it once did, so your car has to work harder and can overheat. Your mechanic can help you determine whether you may need a new battery.

Our First Blog Entry

April  15,  2018

Welcome to Waldo Detail

We are excited to tell everyone about our new retail shop at 7927 Wornall Rd. We have been detailing cars for auto dealerships since 1989 and an occasional retail customer. Due to an increase in demand in the retail business we have expanded our operation. Luckily, we were able to find office space right around the corner from our garage. The same professional crew that details cars for dealerships are now available to detail your car too.

Our services range from basic hand wash and vacuum to our Signature Detail which is a full service interior and exterior detail. Check out our Services page for package details and a la carte services. Because of our relationships with dealerships and repair facilities, we are able to offer additional services such as windshield repair or replacement, paintless dent repair and repair of tears, burns and rips on interior surfaces.

Check out our services and book your appoint online or give us a call to speak to someone on our team.      

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