Maintenance aerosol products include everything from penetrating lubricants and surface protectants to various types of cleaners, glass and tire treatments. Some are universal type products with a wide range of uses while others are specialized products designed for a specific application.
Take aerosol penetrating lubricants, for example. Aerosol penetrating lubricants are multi-use aerosols that can be used as light lubricants, to loosen rusty fasteners, to displace moisture and leave a protective coating that helps prevent rust and corrosion, and to even remove gunk from various surfaces. It can be used to lubricate door hinges and locks, hood and trunk latches, sliding mechanisms and cables (such as the emergency brake) or even the weatherstripping around doors and trunks. It can be sprayed on ignition wires, distributor caps and ignition coils to remove gunk and repel water (which prevents arcing and misfiring in wet, humid conditions).
For more specialized applications, there are aerosol products such as rust release penetrating sprays that are faster-acting and are more aggressive than a typical multi-use product. The same goes for aerosol rust removers, aerosol corrosion inhibitors and rust preventatives. The key here is to find out what exactly your customer wants to accomplish, and to recommend the best product that meets that particular need.
Aerosol silicone lubricants are popular because it is waterproof, dries fast, leaves no oily residue and is safe for use on most vinyl, plastic and rubber surfaces. You also can get white lithium grease in an aerosol can for a long-lasting metal-to-metal surface lubricant.
For cleaning various kinds of surfaces, there are general purpose cleaners, engine degreasers for removing heavy accumulations of grease and gunk, gasket remover for dissolving gasket residue on engine parts and electrical contact cleaner for cleaning sensitive electrical connectors and sensors (including dirty mass airflow sensors). Specialized products are available for cleaning windshields (which include those that leave a silicone layer to repel water), for removing tree sap and bug splatter, for cleaning tires, for cleaning interior upholstery and for cleaning leather. As with lubricants, you want the right product for the job.
One problem area where aerosol cleaners can really help is dirty throttle bodies (and carburetors on older vehicles). Fuel varnish, carbon and dirt can build up in the throttle opening and idle control passages causing drivability and emissions problems. Cleaning the throttle body with throttle body cleaner can remove these harmful deposits and eliminate annoying drivability problems. Most of these products also can be used to clean the intake system, PCV valves and EGR valves and passages.
It’s very important to read the labels on these products because there are often cautions regarding their use and safety. Aerosols that contain strong solvents may damage some types of plastics, rubbers or painted surfaces. Most products have to meet federal and state VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) regulations, but there may be additional precautions on some products, warning users to avoid eye or skin contact, or to use only in a well ventilated area.
Aerosols also are used to apply various kinds of waxes, polishes and surface protectants. There are the multi-use products for cleaning and protecting a wide variety of interior and exterior surfaces, and specialized products for leather, interior plastics, tires and rubber. Some leave a very shiny and slippery film on the surface while others are formulated to leave a non-glare finish.