DIY Upholstery Cleaner For Your Car - 5 Super Easy Homemade Recipes


DIY Upholstery Cleaner For Your Car

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Stop wasting money on car cleaning products that you can make right in your own kitchen using ingredients that you likely already have on hand. Today, we’ve got 5 super easy homemade recipes for making a powerful DIY upholstery cleaner for your car. 

Whether you’ve got cloth or leather upholstered seats, these DIY upholstery cleaners are sure to get your vehicle squeaky clean

How to Spot Clean Car’s Fabric Upholstery

What You’ll Need: 
    • One part baking soda 
    • One part warm water
    • Toothbrush

Mix together the baking soda and warm water until you've created a paste. Dab the paste onto the stain of your car's fabric upholstery and use a toothbrush to gently scrub along the grain of the fabric. After you've scrubbed, blot the area again with the paste and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. The baking soda will work to help lift the stain up. After 30 minutes, use a clean cloth to wipe away any leftover residue. 

How to Freshen up Your Car's Fabric Upholstery

What You’ll Need: 
    • One fourth cup of vinegar
    • A couple drops of dish detergent
    • Oe cup of warm water
    • Soft bristle brush 

Pour the vinegar, dish detergent, and warm water into a spray bottle. The spray bottle is how you will apply the mixture onto your car's fabric upholstery. Next, use your soft bristle brush to gently rub the mixture into the seats. You can even use the brush to focus on specific stains that are on your car's fabric. Finish the job by using a towel to pat dry the seats. 

How to Spot Cleaning Leather Car Upholstery

What You’ll Need: 
    • A microfiber cloth 
    • Non gel toothpaste
    • A toothbrush 

Apply a bit of the gel toothpaste directly onto the stain of your car's leather seats. It's important to use non gel toothpaste in order to remove the stain and not damage the leather. Using  an old toothbrush, gently scrub at the stain. Use a microfiber cloth and wipe away the toothpaste. If parts of the stain still remain, repeat the process until you've cleaned the leather entirely. 

How to Clean Your Car's Leather Upholstery

What You’ll Need: 
    • 1/4 vinegar
    • 1/4 cup
    • Lemon essential oil (for disinfecting) 

Pour the vinegar, olive oil, and 10 drops of the lemon essential oil into a spray bottle. This will be your cleaning solution to freshen up your car's leather upholstered seats. The vinegar will help to remove bacteria and stains while the olive oil will bring back your leather’s shine. Lemon essential oil is also great for helping to disinfect too. Spray the mixture onto a microfiber cloth and scrub your leather seats in a  circular motion.  use a towel to wipe away any excess moisture. 

Before you apply the mixture on your leather seats, do a spot test on an inconspicuous part of your seats. This is to make sure that the mixture does not react with the dye in your leather seats. 

How to Clean Your Vehicle's Interior Surfaces

What You’ll Need: 
    • One part vinegar 
    • One part water
    • 10 drops of lemon essential oil

Mix the vinegar, water, and essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the hard surfaces of your vehicle's interior. Using a microfiber cloth, rub the mixture onto your vehicle's surfaces to help to lift away stains, dust, and any other imperfections. 

Commercial Vs. Self Car Wash

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What You Should Know About Spark Plugs, Their Adjustment, and Their Replacement (2022)


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens if the spark plug gap is too small?

If the spark plug gap in your vehicle is too small, the spark won’t have enough exposure to the fuel mixture to properly ignite it. The spark generated by a smaller spark plug gap is sometimes too weak to start the engine. Several engine issues result from a spark plug gap that is too small.

Click Here For Car Maintenance Tips

2. Spark plug gap too small symptoms

Symptoms of a spark plug gap that is too small include continuous cylinder misfires (which can sound like knocking or popping), hard starting (if all spark plugs have a gap that’s too small), engine hesitation, and rough idling. A way to recognize a spark plug with a too-small gap on sight is that it will be black or wet due to unburned fuel. 

3. Is a smaller spark plug gap better?

A smaller spark plug gap is not better because a gap that is too small can prevent the vehicle’s fuel mixture from being ignited and create engine performance issues. While making a spark plug gap that’s too big smaller can be helpful, making the gap smaller, in general, isn’t better for your vehicle.

4. Does the spark plug gap matter?

Yes, the spark plug gap matters. If your vehicle’s spark plug gap is too big or too small, this can cause issues with engine performance or even prevent your engine from starting. Having the ideal spark plug gap in your vehicle ensures your car runs more smoothly.

5. What happens if the spark plug gap is too big?

If the spark plug gap in your vehicle is too big, the spark plugs will need a higher voltage to get the ignition spark to cross the gap. The engine can’t always provide the extra voltage needed to cross the gap, so the spark is weaker and won’t ignite your fuel mixture properly. This can cause engine performance issues.

6. Spark plug gap too big symptoms

Much like with a spark plug gap that’s too small, symptoms of a spark plug gap that is too big include cylinder misfires, rough idling, engine hesitation, and the engine not starting. You can identify a spark plug with a gap that’s too big on sight by it being wet or black due to unburned fuel or completely coated in a substance that looks like dirt.

7. How does the spark plug gap affect performance?

A spark plug’s gap affects performance by changing how an engine starts, runs, and idles. With an ideal spark plug gap, things will run smoothly. With a gap that’s too big or too small, you’ll notice quickly that your engine (and, by extension, riding experience) is rougher and riddled with hesitancy and strange engine noises.

8. Spark plug gap chart

A spark plug gap chart can be used to determine what the ideal spark plug gap is for specific vehicles or engines. It can also be a reference for measurement conversions when determining the size of an existing spark plug gap using a gauge. Anyone attempting to measure or change a spark plug gap should have a spark plug gap chart handy.

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Benefits of Corporate Sponsorships With a Non-profit Organization


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Benefits of Corporate Sponsorships With a Non-profit Organization

Non-Profits can Win with Corporate Sponsorships

The idea of corporate sponsorship is not groundbreaking. Companies have been working with non-profit and charitable organizations for hundreds of years.

In fact, many Fortune 500 companies even dedicate certain funds towards corporate responsibility programs meant to align with non-profit groups to help better the community.

The idea of corporations throwing money into something that may not directly impact their stock price may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually an amazing plan. Here are some of the main benefits that corporate sponsors receive when they work with a non-profit organization.

Street Credit

When businesses donate money to worthy and needy causes, that company earns a better perception from the public. People love to see when corporations aren’t just worried about the bottom-line. Since these companies do often make a good deal of money, putting some of that profit back into the community is a well-received gesture.

While every consumer doesn’t consider a company’s charitable donations when making purchases, some shoppers pay very close attention to this. There are enough people who go out of their way to support companies that care about the community that it’s worth the effort.

Greater Visibility

The mere act of making a financial donation to a non-profit helps a company stand out in the eyes of the community. Often, companies will get to put their names and logos on the non-profit’s newsletter, advertisements, event flyers, and more. People who see these PR pieces also see the donating organization’s information, which increases the company’s brand recognition.

In some cases, corporations make large enough donations to justify naming a conference room, computer lab, library, or even building after them. This kind of visibility is worth the cost because it increases overall sales. It’s almost too easy to sell a product when everyone already knows who you are and believes that you care about your community.

Plenty of Perks

Another benefit that corporations enjoy when donating to a non-profit organization is that contributions often come with perks. For example, a local museum may have a large gala event with fancy foods, special celebrity guests, and classy music. Corporations that make donations to that museum may be invited to attend the gala with free tickets. The company may also get special access to celebrity guests or to a VIP area.

While corporations don’t typically donate to a local charity just to get free tickets to an event, non-profits do want to thank donors for their generosity.

Your Business Can Help

At the Newgate School, we work with at-risk adults to help them improve their lives. Our school offers tuition-free programs that teach students valuable skills that will land them good-paying and honest jobs. To maintain our program, we rely on donated cars and funds from the community. Our students learn to repair those cars, and the proceeds from those vehicle sales go back into funding the programs.

If your company is looking for a way to make an impactful difference in the community, we’d love to talk to you about partnering with the Newgate School. Give us a call, and let’s start a conversation that could change the shape of our community.

Safety And Emission Standards

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Newgate School Upgrades Their Facilities with New Air Exchanger System


Newgate School Upgrades Their Facilities with New Air Exchanger System

A Major Upgrade Puts The Newgate School Ahead

The Newgate School is proud to announce that it made a significant improvement to its facility: a new air exchange system.

While this new system may seem like an ancillary expense for a non-profit program, it means a literal breath of fresh air to our students. It took a while, but we were finally able to make it happen thanks to the kind auto and monetary donations from our supporters.

Why is Shop Ventilation So Important?

An unventilated shop can lead to a variety of health concerns. Various particles from metals, paint, chemical fumes, and tons of other contaminants tend to always be floating through the air. Auto shops also deal with flammable materials every day. The gases from these materials can also pose the risk of explosion or fire.

Because these elements can cause health problems, accidents, or even deadly situations, it’s critical that dangerous particles are removed from the air and replaced with clean, fresh air.

How Does An Air Exchanger Work?

An air exchanger is essentially a system that moves fresh air from outside into the shop’s interior. Stale and contaminated air is pushed to the outside of the shop. This basic concept of air exchangers is similar to the vents in your car on the HVAC system in your house. Any time you have dirty air getting pushed around, there are going to be problems.

To get more specific, an air exchanger is a large box with two inputs and two outputs. There is a fan inside of the box that helps suck stale air from inside the shop through one input port in order to push it out of the corresponding output port. Another fan works to bring in fresh air through an input port and into the shop through its corresponding output port.

This kind of system does more than bring in the good air while pushing out the bad. It can also decrease the growth or appearance of mold, removes odors from the shop, and provides a more comfortable breaking environment.

So, if you’re asking yourself, “How does a fresh air ventilation system work?” you now have the answer. Of course, the exact location and set up of the input/output ports, ductwork, and fan sizes depend heavily on the size and layout of any particular shop.

Everyone Wins When Our Students Are Safe

Because humans aren’t very good at detecting small amounts of nasty particles in the air, many shops overlook their ventilation systems until it’s too late. We knew this was something that needed upgrading for a while. Luckily, we were finally able to make the move.

As we continue to work with at-risk adults in the community, we want to do more than teach them valuable job skills. We also work to help them make better choices regarding their health and their families. Even though a ventilation system may not be the most exciting upgrade for an auto shop, it’s one we’re proud to provide to ensure our students remain healthy and active in turning their lives forward.

Find out more about how you can help continue the mission of the Newgate School and call us today.

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Newgate School Partners Up with Project CAR


Newgate School Partners Up with Project CAR

Newgate School + Project CAR = A Community Win

Providing value to the community is at the heart of Newgate School’s mission. By providing tuition-free vocational training in the Twin Cities area, Newgate sets low-income young adults up for a successful automotive industry career.

A New Partner in Community Service

Newgate is pleased to announce a partnership with Project Clean Air Repair—also known as Project CAR. Part of the Environmental Initiative, Project CAR teams up with mechanics and garages to identify and correct vehicle exhaust systems in older passenger vehicles. This is especially beneficial for low-income neighbors who don’t have the financial resources to fix an old exhaust system or upgrade to a newer car. Newgate is excited to find a community partner whose ideals and activities align with those of the School.

How did Project CAR Get Started?

Recent studies estimate that 90% of vehicle air pollution is caused by just 25% of passenger vehicles with broken or outdated emission systems. Project CAR is the result of Environmental Initiative’s 2017 pilot project that partnered with The Lift Garage and Cars for Neighbors. As part of this project, these partner shops corrected the exhaust systems for 51 vehicles. Following the pilot program's success, Environmental Initiative received additional funding to continue and expand the program.

How Project CAR’s Program Works

Through Project CAR, participating garages are reimbursed by Environmental Initiative to repair catalytic converters, evaporative emission control systems, oxygen sensors, and exhaust gas recirculation valves. These services are provided at no cost or for a nominal fee to drivers from low-income households. This allows them to keep their otherwise reliable older car while reducing pollution caused by vehicle emissions.

Newgate + Project CAR

Newgate School evaluates every vehicle before accepting it for donation. A donated vehicle must be in such condition that it can be repaired in a cost-efficient manner through its auto mechanic and auto body programs. In the past, the school has had to decline vehicles with broken emission system components. Working with Project CAR, Newgate can accept more passenger cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks that require exhaust system repair.

A Valuable Component to the Newgate Curriculum

As part of the auto mechanics training program, students learn how to diagnose and repair major vehicle components, including engine, transmission, drivetrain, and HVAC. Through its partnership with Project CAR, Newgate can now add emissions system diagnostics and repair to its comprehensive automobile curriculum.

Additionally, Project CAR’s grant funders require detailed reporting and documentation. Such reporting gives students experience with documentation, such as calculating and creating estimates for parts and labor costs. These are skills that not only prove valuable when working at a garage, but they are transferable to any other future career they choose to pursue.

Funding for Newgate School and Project CAR

Newgate School is funded through vehicle donations. Once a vehicle is repaired and reconditioned through the school’s auto body and auto mechanics programs, it is resold. The proceeds from vehicle sales fund the school’s educational and administrative activities. Through Project CAR, Newgate is reimbursed for each exhaust system repair completed in its program.

As part of the Environmental Initiative, Project CAR’s activities are funded by grants from partners including the City of Minneapolis, Flint Hills Resources, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

A Valuable Collaboration that Further Benefits the Community

Newgate School values its collaboration with Project CAR. Through this partnership, the school can accept more vehicles in its programs. This also allows Newgate to accommodate more students, sell more vehicles, and award more free cars to local working mothers through the Wheels for Women program.

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