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4 pro tips for spring-cleaning your car

The first thing I clean is the tank…Not sure exactly when I’ll get it out this season but the first thing will be a road trip…drive till the low fuel light comes on, gas up then drive back stopping just before 1/4 and topping off again. Its been under wraps since September so it won’t need anything else…I topped off the fuel back in September and just ran it the first of every month for about 15 minutes…kind of a mild winter so l’m sure will have a very wet spring again…I even left the top down and didn’t get it up on jack stands…

Ragtop69…Sure, everyone, right now, has heard of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Have you heard about the dangers of breathing asbestos dust from brake pads and shoes on older cars??? I hate to call you out, but you are the one demonstrating your complete ignorance by calling out robmacgregor. I must assume you are uninformed to what NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) ratings on masks actually mean, and that’s OK. The majority of the country is ignorant to the actual meaning of the mask rating system. Simplified, the N95 mask blocks 95% of particulate matter that is 0.3 microns and larger from passing through the mask. The N95 is currently identified as sufficient to provide protection from Covid-19 airborne environment exposure. Now, the minimum rating for asbestos exposure is N100 (also P100 & R100) filters out 99.7% of particulate matter that is 0.3 microns and larger from passing through the mask. The asbestos rated N100 mask must be a respirator style mask with either one or two filters as opposed to a “dust mask”. So, asbestos dust is taken very seriously as it is known to cause health issues like COPD, emphysema, mesothelioma cancer, etc. Overall, this may be a greater health risk and hazard to many of the readers of this forum than the coronavirus ever will be…and I’m not discounting the present danger of Covid-19, take appropriate precautions for yourself and your household.

Many of us have vehicles with asbestos brake linings, still in service, in our garage. Asbestos brakes stop vehicles efficiently, effectively, and quietly. Its heat dissipation properties and friction characteristics are very good, if not excellent, making it ideal as a friction agent for brake linings, clutch disks, and many other applications throughout the history of our country.

I spent the majority of my working career in an automotive shop. We never wore masks to do brake jobs, but probably should have on some of them. There is no doubt that I have breathed in asbestos dust from brake linings and clutch disks. There is no doubt that it was ground into the skin of my hands and forearms. Brake dust coats everything in a repair shop environment. I breathed it, ate it, and drank it for 20 years. Keeping dust down is key for your health and keeping your work area (that is…your garage and prized car/s) clean. A mask is not overkill for close quarters work with a very fine, easily disturbed, and widely distributed powder such as dry brake dust…regardless of if it has asbestos or is asbestos-free, it is still not healthy to breath into your lungs.

Ragtop69, I apologize to you if you truly feel I was unfair in my remarks to you. I hope I’ve been more educational than scalding in my remarks. That was my overall intent to the audience in general. robmacgregor, homerun to you, Sir! The mask is an excellent idea, especially if you think you are going to stir up dust. An N95 mask should do OK for modern non-asbestos brakes.

Greg, you must have spent too much time in the service bays to notice that it has been some years since there has been any asbestos in brake linings or clutch discs. While I can’t claim to be a veteran of many years working in commercial garages, I did spend a substantial amount of time in the pre-mask days in gas stations working my way through college. I also am a shade tree mechanic by choice rather than necessity. As the widower of a lovely lady who died of COPD compounded with lung cancer, I am hardly ignorant of those dangers and frankly resent your implication that my comment was out of ignorance. Please go back to stamp collecting or whatever it is you do when you don’t have access to a computer or, better still, just don’t pontificate about things that are only the product of your imagination and assumptions.

yes. this is acceptable, when all the snow is gone?

thanks for teaching us something.

ragtop69, Sir, you were the one demonstrating your ignorance on the subject. I’m sorry for you that your spouse died from COPD and lung cancer.

That said, you should not have attacked robmacgregor for the comment on wearing an underrated N95 dust mask for cleaning brake dust off of wheels. Oh, by the way, you apparently missed the part about CLASSIC, VINTAGE, & ANTIQUE cars still having asbestos brake pads, shoes, and clutch disks on them and in service. Many readers, like me, have multiple COLLECTOR cars with very low mileage on them…as in they still have the original equipment brakes and clutches from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s (meaning, they HAVE asbestos!). Clearly, this is not a product of my imagination or an assumption, but a factual reality. It is also not pontificating to point out the CLEAR ERRORS in your original comments and in your ignorant response.

I’m an ASE Master automotive technician by choice because of my passion for all things automotive. It was not out of necessity. I am highly educated and have a Bachelor’s, as well as, a Master’s degree. I’ve managed and owned several businesses very successfully. I’m a professional that deals in facts. That is my necessity…and I collect cars…“when I don’t have access to a computer.”