A: Many brands of washer solvent contain a little bit of surfactant, but usually not a sudsing type. Although you may use ammonia, I would advise against it as it can leave streaks. Ammonia is often used to strip wax from linoleum floors and may do the same to your car’s wax. But it probably would not harm the wipers.
A teaspoon or less of Dawn to a gallon of store-bought fluid would be fine. Too much, though, could cause streaking or make you feel you are looking through a bubble bath.
A: Lots of folks use this setup. A good quality, six-point socket will contact the flats of the nut or bolt instead of the points. Not only does that prevent damage, it supplies adequate torque to turn the nuts. By the way, the most common wheel nut size is 3/4-inch which is the same as 19mm.
A: Listen to your friend. Detailing usually costs about $125, but you don’t need to have the full monty. Just ask them to deodorize the vehicle.
Although some detailers use chemical products, most use ozone generators to get the smell out. Call around. You may find a price you can live with. It beats having your kid driving to school with that odor in the car.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Bob Weber is a writer and mechanic who became an ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician in 1976. He maintains this status by seeking certification every five years. Weber’s work appears in professional trade magazines and other consumer publications. His writing also appears in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide, and Consumers Digest.