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Cougar Support Group - General Maintenance

"General Maintenance" topic that we can discuss
things we've mentioned in the past, such as weather
stripping, transmission, oil changes, and such
other maintenance discussions.

Bonnie Rick
Town Hall Community Manager,


  • bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Posts: 115
    all the collective wisdom on how to keep that Cat
    looking GOOD!

    Bonnie Rick
    Town Hall Community Manager,
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    Let's all take a moment, at least every day (week, month, whatever), to appreciate our Cats and all the miles they run for us. We can do this most readily by petting them with a soft, soapy sponge after a nice hose-down. Sometimes we can spend hours at a time, just making sure their coats are shiny. I know my Cat is wishing I'd put some quality time in, but we know how it is. This area should be a tribute to how to keep the Cats running clean and fresh, inside and out.

    Any suggestions on spilled coffee? The leather cleans up well, but I think I'm going to have to break out the "clean machine" on the carpets! Oh well, every road has its hazards, bumps included.

    I like to use the Swiffers on the dash and around the center console. It works wonders in and around the shifter and the stereo, all without harsh chemicals that can leave a residue and possibly fade or crack the dash.

    Also, I have tinted windows and know that ammonia-based window cleaners are not recommended because it'll melt the film. Anyone got any suggestions for cleaning dog-nose prints from the tint? Thanks in advance.

    Take care, all, and safe cleaning!
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    What have you taken your Cat to the dealer for? I know I've visited on several occasions for various things including: Oil changes (every 5K miles!), Tire rotation and wheel balancing (gotta be good to 'em or they'll wear out on ya), front-end alignment (darn potholes), and other warrantee work on things that weren't quite right.

    A lot has been discussed in the past, but we all know how we like to tell the same story over and over again, so lets hear them!
  • jimbo_gjimbo_g Posts: 53
    Tint Cleaning- Try soap and water in a spray bottle. That is what the tint installers use to clean fingerprints off of the tint when they are gone. So it should work for Dog noses too :-) I would spray it on the towel instead of directly on the window. Spray bottles can be messy.
    perhaps Badulah, Mr. Tint himself, can offer a suggestion.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Service visits:

    I've been to the dealer about 4 times since I took delivery of my cat.

    First tiem was for the normal oil change, a scratch fix (during transportation), crimped window gasketing, and intermittent hatch release.

    2nd time for oil change and hatch release.

    3rd time for oil and hatch release (do we see a pattern here?).

    4th time, oil, tire rotation, A/C recharge (factory tsb), door latch recall, and hatch release. This time, they got the tsb for hatch problems out, and found a wrong strut so it seems to work now. Finally, after a year of trying, the hatch works!!!!

    I've had no problems with the brakes squealing as some have, so feel lucky there. Other than the above, the car has been trouble free.

    Now, about alignment. What in the hell have you people been hitting, and how fast were you going? I live here in pothole heaven (Chicagoland), have hit one that took out the left tires (both w/big bulges in the sidewalls), wore out shocks way before thier time, and loosened one car up so bad that it rattled sitting still. NEVER had to get the front end re-aigned, and believe me, i pay attention to the handling and tracking of my cars.

    I just don't understand! By the way, the extra $5 or so for road hazard warranty on tires can be really worth it. (See pothole story above) I'm well ahead of the gamble, and will be for life.

    Bonnie Rick:

    Say 'bye' to Shifty for us, he was a good moderator!!!

    Skip G.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    What should be used to clean the interior(dash)?

    I have always used just water.
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391

    Water is the safest thing you can use. Unlike some of the petroleum-based cleaners like Armor All, and Formula 2001 -- which both leave a residue (they're supposed to, but I personally don't like to be blinded by the sun reflecting off the dash).

    As I mentioned, to get the bulk of the dust, just use one of those new Swiffer cloths, attracts dust like a magnet, and since it's cloth and it's dry, you can use it all over the interior. If you have some stubborn stains (like I have coffee all over my rear cupholder) water should do the trick!


    Thanks for the tip, I'll try it out to see if it streaks or anything. Dish soap is probably less expensive than that "Professional Tint Cleaning" stuff they use anyway.
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391

    Unfortunately, when the wheel made contact with the pothole that did me in, I was under heavy braking. Usually, I leave a "loose but tight" grip on the wheel, because most road deficiencies will bounce the wheels this way and that, and that's fine, but when I hit this particular pothole, I felt the alignment pull out. Wierd, because I've hit larger ones, but I must've just hit under the specific conditions that make a car go out of alignment. [shrugs shoulders]
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    50/50 Vinager/Water mix for cleaning tinted windows, actually any windows.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I use this foam window spray I found at my local grocery store. It doesn't not contain ammonia and is streakless.
  • bobschmbobschm Posts: 42
    I use swiffer cloths too. They work great for capturing the dust instead of just fluffing it around.

    For protecting vinyl, I don't use water. Vinyl likes to loose polymer esters (that's that nice new car smell) to evaporation. When that happens, the vinyl shrinks and you get cracks. Millions of microscopic cracks and the part looks dull and chalky. Big cracks and... well you know.

    If you use water, you'll clean off the grime but the evaporation is still going on.

    Armor-All restores the lost moisture but it's too thick and shiny for my taste. (I've never tried the non-glare formula).

    I use a vinyl CLEANER from Turtle wax or whoever. They are very watery, milky colored liquid. They restore the moisture like Armor-All but they don't appear to leave a thick residue. The vinyl looks factory new.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    How long have you been using that vinyl cleaner?
  • dasaint1dasaint1 Posts: 230
    I haven't yet taken my Cat in for a service. She's still got less than 500 miles on her. But I'm planning to after 1K miles. So how much should the dealer charge for the oil change? Does this price vary from dealer to dealer, or should it be one price for all Mercury dealers?

    Does anyone change the oil themselves; is it easy? I haven't really gotten a chance to look under the hood and see where everything is.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I do all of my own oil changes. I use Castrol Syntec oil and a standard filter. It is very easy to do and should only take about 15 minutes.
  • dasaint1dasaint1 Posts: 230
    I've had my car for over two weeks now, and I love that new car smell.

    Last weekend, after detailing my Cat, I went for a ride on my Cat with a friend. He's a smoker, and I definitely didn't let him smoke in the car. But after he finished smoking his cigarette, he went in the car, and I immediately smelled that smoker's smell. I felt uncomfortable, but I didn't wanna offend him by telling him to get out and take a shower. So I just rolled the windows open and drove. All this time, I was worried about him ruining my new car smell.

    Question: is there any product out there that can preserve that "new car" scent? I doubt it, but it doesn't hurt to ask. They got Fabreze for the carpet and bedsheets; they should have something for the car (and I'm not talking about car fresheners).

    For those of you who have '99 Cougars, does it still have that "new car" smell?
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    My Cat has 9500(9 monthes old) miles and it has a slight new car smell. I don't think it smells new but when people get in my car they always comment on the new car smell. I think the key to keeping that smell is keeping your interior CLEAN!!! I keep my Cat VERY clean, inside and out. Food particles all over the car don't help with that new car scent. Again, this is only my experience.
  • I'm not preaching here, but I believe that every responsible car owner (even us women-folk - some of us don't mind getting our fingernails dirty, or evne broken.) should know how to do a few things - connect jumper cables safely and properly, check fluid levels, and do their own oil change. With the exceptions of a few cars that have oil filters that are tricky to get to, doing your own oil change is easy, only takes about 20 minutes, saves you some $$$, and lets you spent those all-important moments of cuddle time with your Kitty.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    If you hit the hole that hard, I would seriously consider examining the whole front end as getting out of alignment could mean that something got seriously bent and should be replaced.

    My $0.02

    Skip G
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391

    Thanks for the advice, and I did have them run it through the ringer. They realigned it, and it's been great ever since!

    I actually think I'm over the edge sometimes on what I think I can feel differently about cars from one day to the next, and in the case of my Cat, it is definately enhanced because I drive it everyday.

    Oh well, gotta go stare at the Cat to make sure it's okay for the night. Later!
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    A bedtime story such as, "The Cat In The Hat", will assure a good night's sleep for both you and your kitty.

    Skip G.
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