Preparing a car for the playa

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owstopit
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Preparing a car for the playa

Post by owstopit » Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:48 pm

Hello everyone!

This will be my first year at burning man, and I'm planning on bringing my car. For resale reasons, I'd like to try and keep my car in relatively good condition. It is somewhat new. How can I best prepare my car for the dust? I plan to get a cover for my car, but what else can I do to minimize any effects of the dust? Can the dust interfere with the engine or other important parts? Do I need to tape up the cracks between the doors and windows, etc.? Will the dust scratch the car or damage it cosmetically? If it's not possible to protect, my fellow burners and I might use someone else's car. So, what's the best way to protect my car? Thanks!

-Neal

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ygmir
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Post by ygmir » Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:56 pm

it depends on how much you want to protect.......

the best way, as you state, is, not to bring it.........

otherwise, there is a lot of info on this subject here, I can't remember the thread, but, it does deal with those issues.
Maybe a search? I'm not so good at searching here, but, give it a try.
good luck
welcome, by the way.....
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mojo
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Post by mojo » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:04 pm

Your car will be fine if you lock it up when you get there and don't open it up again until you leave. Bring an extra air filter and replace the old one after you get to Gerlach on the way out. You can cover seats and floors with old sheets and towels - they really help soak up the playa that will be stuck on your shoes, clothes and equipment.

We like to put sun screens inside (or alum foil taped in place with blue painter's tape - don't use duct tape as it will melt).

Don't use a car cover out there. The dust on the car washes off and shouldn't cause any damage to the paint, even in high winds because it is dust, not sand. A car cover will definately do a lot of moving and flapping in the wind, and is far more dangerous to the paint IMHO.
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Dork
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Post by Dork » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:06 pm

A cover might actually make it worse as it will rub dust into the finish.

Clean the car inside and out. Random bits of junk will turn into moop on the playa so you might as well get rid of them now so that doesn't happen. Apply a coat of wax. Do whatever maintenance is needed for the long trip - oil change, checking tire condition and pressure, etc. When you pull off the road onto the playa, set your fan to recirculate and turn it off or if necessary to low. Park it at your camp, unload everything, then don't open the doors again until you go to pack it at the end of the week.

When you get it home, wash it a couple of times then use wet wipes to clean the dust off the interior and spots the washing didn't get like doorjams and such.

That's it. Your car will be just fine. I sold a relatively new car a few weeks after returning from a 3 week trip to the playa and it didn't affect my ability to sell or get the price I wanted.

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dragonpilot
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Post by dragonpilot » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:51 pm

I prep my car by taking someone else's...
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BAS
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Post by BAS » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:40 pm

I might be the only person to have returned from the playa with my filter in "like new" condition! No dust in the filter; however, there were little chunks of plastic in it. It seems that some animal spent the week of Burning Man 2006 living in my car's air system, right by the air filter. I have no idea when it got in there, or when it left. It kept the air filter clean.

Assuming you don't get some animal to live in your car's engine for the week, it probably IS a good idea to put in a new air filter once you are off the playa. Another recommendation I have seen is to check your tire pressure at the first gas station you stop at-- apparently some people have found that the temperatures on the playa cause their vehicle's tires to lose tire pressure over the week.

There are probably other recommendations which I am forgetting...

Good luck!
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Simon of the Playa
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Post by Simon of the Playa » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:18 am

Neal, this is your FIRST time on the playa, Correct?


Rental Car, FULL FULL FULL insurance, Trash the fucking thing.


there is nothing like returning a ford taurus you have completely violated and abused, and watching the girl behind the counter at the airport stutter as you explain that you're "covered even for acts of god, so here are the keys, fuck you, and good day, i have a flight to catch."
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oneeyeddick
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Post by oneeyeddick » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:20 am

BAS wrote: It seems that some animal spent the week of Burning Man 2006 living in my car's air system, right by the air filter. I have no idea when it got in there, or when it left.
I was wondering where my other gerbil ran off to.
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Tamino
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Post by Tamino » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:07 pm

[quote="BAS"]It seems that some animal spent the week of Burning Man 2006 living in my car's air system, right by the air filter. I have no idea when it got in there, or when it left. It kept the air filter clean.[/quote]

It probably left because you didn't leave a tip all week.
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Burp!
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Post by Burp! » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:21 pm

It's not so hard, but may require you to bring a gun to BM. I know, I know guns are not allowed at burning man. Just another thing wrong with BM I tell ya.

Step 1: Once you are out of Reno, turn off your car's air conditioning and/or fan. Leave the windows up the entire way to BM. Never, as in NEVER role them down or turn on that fan. Ever.

Step2: Once at BM take everything out of your car that you will need for the week. *Take you keys and turn them in to the BM lost and found. You will be tempted to open your car for some reason or another if you have your keys.

* If you choose not to turn your keys into the lost and found, this is where the gun comes in, make it clear to your camp mates that if you see them in your car you will shoot them dead. Say to them as you wave the gun around "As a matter of fact, if you see me in my car, you can shoot me dead." This generally works.

Follow these steps and your car will have only half as much dust as normal.

sambojones
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Post by sambojones » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:53 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:Neal, this is your FIRST time on the playa, Correct?


Rental Car, FULL FULL FULL insurance, Trash the fucking thing.


there is nothing like returning a ford taurus you have completely violated and abused, and watching the girl behind the counter at the airport stutter as you explain that you're "covered even for acts of god, so here are the keys, fuck you, and good day, i have a flight to catch."
god damn almost fell out of my chair just thinking about this and laughing like a maniac
does this water taste like raspberries or am I still fucked up...oh wait it's raspberry flavored water

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BAS
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Post by BAS » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:33 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:Neal, this is your FIRST time on the playa, Correct?


Rental Car, FULL FULL FULL insurance, Trash the fucking thing.


there is nothing like returning a ford taurus you have completely violated and abused, and watching the girl behind the counter at the airport stutter as you explain that you're "covered even for acts of god, so here are the keys, fuck you, and good day, i have a flight to catch."
I believe this is known as the "Hunter S. Thompson Approach" if you add in renting it under an alias with a stolen credit card.
"Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
Do things that have never been done."
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BAS
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Post by BAS » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:36 pm

Tamino wrote:
BAS wrote:It seems that some animal spent the week of Burning Man 2006 living in my car's air system, right by the air filter. I have no idea when it got in there, or when it left. It kept the air filter clean.
It probably left because you didn't leave a tip all week.
What? Feeding it water-logged meal replacement bars wasn't enough?! Sheesh! Talk about ungrateful! :roll: (At least it was professional enough to stick around until I got off the playa.)
"Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
Do things that have never been done."
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BAS
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Post by BAS » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:37 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:
BAS wrote: It seems that some animal spent the week of Burning Man 2006 living in my car's air system, right by the air filter. I have no idea when it got in there, or when it left.
I was wondering where my other gerbil ran off to.
Whereas I DID have your other gerbil, it wasn't stuck up a pipe in my car...! :twisted:
"Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
Do things that have never been done."
--Russell Kirsch

Thecatman
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Post by Thecatman » Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:13 pm

If your car has real wheel drive and the driveshaft u-joints have zirk fittings (grease fittings) you might want to give them a shot of grease after getting off the playa or when you get home. This will squeeze out any dust that might have infiltrated into the needle bearings.

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Absolut Jeenyus
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Post by Absolut Jeenyus » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:56 am

When you get to the playa, park your car and then don't turn it on or use it the whole week. Then at the end of the week when your all packed and ready to go back home, turn the AC on full blast and then turn the car on. Tell me your results. :D

If you value it that much, don't bring it. Period.
-AJ )'(

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Simon of the Playa
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Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:43 am

I believe this is known as the "Hunter S. Thompson Approach" if you add in renting it under an alias with a stolen credit card.

THAT IS SO FUCKING WRONG!!!


















GET YOUR GODDAMN FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU POST SHIT LIKE THAT AMIGOS, COMPRENDE?

















WTF!!!

















i only BORROWED the credit card, i gave it back, along with plenty of cash, and i paid all the tickets.....




the rest might have not been true or false, maybe.


he GAVE me the card....it was an OFFICIAL borrow.....so there....neener neener... :twisted:
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Absolut Jeenyus
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Post by Absolut Jeenyus » Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:20 pm

Well I guess I should give you your card back Simon.

Im sowwy. :cry:
-AJ )'(

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:55 pm

You prepare the car by talking sweetly to it and explaining that you will be driving on the playa with the windows open.

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Absolut Jeenyus
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Post by Absolut Jeenyus » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:01 pm

hahaha got me out loud there... :lol: :lol:
-AJ )'(

yizzah
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Post by yizzah » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:43 pm

It's not all THAT bad. I've been in and out of my truck throughout the week and even slept in it when the weather has gotten really bad. Just use common sense when you open the doors, i.e. don't do it in windstorms and if you do open the door, open the one opposite the wind. There was dust in my truck, but I stopped at a car wash on the way home and vacuumed it. Most of the dust in there came from my air vents.

skibear
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Post by skibear » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:38 pm

As mentioned, place vent fan to recirculate and turn it off
as you pull on to the dusty playa road.

Tape over the air vents at your campsite since an amazing
amount of dust can blow into the vents. Use blue painters
tape or vinyl plastic tape. Do not use duct tape which will
leave a slimy residue.
hth
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DrPeffer
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Post by DrPeffer » Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:09 pm

I've brought my 2006 Honda Accord to the last three burns. Haven't had any inkling of trouble with the engine/innards. Since most modern cars are made up so much of plastic and painted metal, there's not much damage to be done in a week of sitting on the Playa.

I will say this, though: The first year, I put a coat of wax on before going. All it seemed to do was act like a magnet for the dust. At the same time, though, it may still have protected the finish ultimately. The real thing to accept is that, if your case is like mine, then for the rest of your car's life, every time you wash the car, you'll have some amount of Playa creep out of one crevice or another. I happen to smile whenever I see it, but I can understand how others might feel differently (in particular, Hertz, Avis, etc).

The dust is more or less inert until it comes into contact with water, at which point it will eat unprotected metal with breathtaking speed (I've seen ungalvanized steel turn from grey to brown after two nights post-playa, sitting in my dew-ey back yard). So, provided it doesn't rain on the Playa, you've got no concerns until you leave the high desert.

I don't know if this sounds silly or not, but while your first inclination might be to find any old car wash upon leaving the Playa, you might be better off letting the road shake off as much dust as possible before letting your car encounter any water. And when you do, you'll want to make it more than just a Casual Encounter.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:56 pm

Vacuum first.

Tiffadactyl
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Re: Preparing a car for the playa

Post by Tiffadactyl » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:43 pm

We always blast every thing including the car with the leaf blower when we return. It really gets a lot of the playa off before any water comes into the equation. :mrgreen:

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Sail Man
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Re: Preparing a car for the playa

Post by Sail Man » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:39 am

We've taken my wife's truck to the playa each time, though the last was in 11.

Everytime I get into her truck, I see the dust imbeded into the dash and door fabric. And smile. Cranking on the a/c I can smell it as well.

Not a bad thing to have left over playa in the auto, takes me away from defaultopia just for a little while.
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