Question - I get my car washed at the gas station car wash a couple of times a month and always get the super duper package that includes spray-on wax. Now, I know that I am supposed to wash and wax my car in the driveway every Saturday afternoon - and if I did, I wouldn't wax the windshield. But since I have better things to do with my time, I use the gas station car wash that gets wax on my windshield. So how do I get the wax off my windshield? And as you can probably tell from my attitude, I'm looking for the quick and easy solution. - Randy
TOM: Well, it doesn't get much quicker or easier than this, Randy. You don't have to do anything.
RAY: Right. The car wash folks claim that the wax they use doesn't stick to glass. It sticks to the car, they say, but not to the windows.
TOM: Perhaps it's some kind of special wax that doesn't adhere to glass surfaces. Or perhaps they use some additive in the wax that keeps it from bonding to glass.
RAY: Or, perhaps they don't apply any wax at all! How would we know? Maybe that extra two bucks you pay covers the electrical bill for the sign that says "Applying Hot Wax Now!"
TOM: Actually, I'm sure most car washes apply some sort of wax product when you pay for it. But since they use about eight cents' worth of wax concentrate per car, I can't imagine that it's as good or as long-lasting as a good-quality paste wax (but you folks in the car wash industry are welcome to write and convince me otherwise).
RAY: But you don't really care, do you, Randy? All you want to know is how to keep wax off your windshield. And either way - whether they apply special non-glass-adhering wax, or no wax at all - you're all set!
TOM: So now that we've eased your worried mind, Randy, we hope you can relax and enjoy the important hobbies you mention in your letter.
Question - I live right in New York. I've got a 1977 Ford Pinto Wagon that came from Florida. It's in very good shape (ugly green, though). To me, it's worth fixing but to a limit. Right now I'm driving it with no power steering. The rack is leaking and possibly the pump and lines. I want to switch to manual steering. Will the steering column fit, or will it need to be replaced? - Don
TOM: What a perfect car for New York City! You should nominate this car for "official vehicle of the Big Apple," Don. Why? What car could possibly be any less desirable to thieves?
RAY: Well, several of my brother's cars come to mind. But the answer is that you ought to be able to switch to non-power steering pretty easily. You'll need a new steering rack, and I'd look first for one in a junkyard.
TOM: Most people don't realize that steering a car with broken power steering is a lot harder than steering a car that never had power steering to begin with. That's because, even when the power steering isn't working, you still have to move all the power steering-related valves and components in the rack, which is hard to do!
RAY: Once you get a manual rack for this car, you can just leave all the other power steering stuff in there and disconnect it (the pump, the lines, etc.). And then you can implement a slightly less intensive Pinto Urban Upper Body Building Program. Good luck, Don.