Blog posts of '2019' 'February'

How to Stop Rust on a Car or Truck

The iron worm, the red menace, metal corrosion, whatever you call it, rust is one of the inevitable problems that can affect your vehicle.

While rust (like death and taxes) is inescapable. There are steps you can take to extend the life of your vehicle.

There are three key steps required to stop rust on a vehicle:

  1. Understanding Rust
  2. Preventing Rust
  3. Treating Rust


What Is Rust?

Rust is the layperson’s text for the chemical process called oxidation. In this process, iron molecules react with oxygen in the air to create iron oxide. This process is accelerated by the presence of salt, especially when it’s dissolved in water.

Because of this, water that gets trapped in unseen pockets of your vehicle will dissolve, leave behind contaminants and speed up the oxidation process.

This is why vehicles in the Northeast and mid-west that get exposed to more snow and use road salt are more rust-prone than vehicles in drier areas.

Types of Rust
Surface Rust

protect against surface rust

Your vehicle’s paint doesn’t just make your vehicle look good. It’s also your first line of defense against rust. When your vehicle is exposed to UV-radiation, rain, snow ice and regular wear and tear, the finish starts to crack. Over time, moisture can seep into these cracks are create rust that develops on the surface of your vehicle, just under the paint.

Scale Rust 

Left untreated, rust will continue to penetrate into the metal surface of your vehicle. Because rust molecules are bigger than the iron or steel in your vehicle, the rust expands and continues to expose more of the base metal below. This can cause a rough, pitted type of damage called scaling that further damages the metal surfaces of your vehicle.

Penetrating Rust

After prolonged exposure, steel is converted to brittle iron oxide and holes form. As the rust creates these holes, they continue to expose more of your vehicle’s metal to rust and can affect the structural and craft integrity of your vehicle’s panels and frame.


As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. The best way to keep rust from damaging your vehicle is to not let it get a foothold in the first place.

Keep it Clean

Rust can only affect your vehicle when you allow corrosive materials to stay in place for extended periods of time. Cleaning your vehicle on a regular basis is the first line of defense. This is especially true during the winter when your vehicle can get exposed to road salt and get damaged by snow, ice and winter UV radiation. If you don’t want to take your vehicle to the vehicle wash, you can also clean it at home. Even spraying your vehicle with a mixture of baking soda and automotive soap can neutralize the acidic effect of salt and other chemicals. Use sparingly one tbsp. of baking soda should be sufficient for the undercarriage of your vehicle.

Keep it Covered

If you leave your vehicle parked outside, you run the risk of water and other elements damaging your finish or pooling on the surfaces of your vehicle. Putting a cover on can help keep rust at bay. Look for covers that keep rain and moisture from penetration and cover as much of your vehicle as possible. Also, make sure your cover provides adequate ventilation so that condensation can’t accumulate and continue to contribute to rust.

Treat and Coat

While there is no such thing as a guaranteed rust prevention treatment, adding a water-resistant coating to the surface of your vehicle can help keep water from penetrating your finish.

Another option is to apply an undercoating to protect your undercarriage from corrosion. Using a rubberized undercoating rather than a “clear coat”. The rubberized coating is more durable and creates a stronger water-resistant seal.

Ideally, an undercoat should be applied when the vehicle is new, however, if you want to add this layer of protection after it’s left the dealership, clean the undercarriage thoroughly. If rust has already begun to accumulate you’ll need sand or grind it off and then paint and prime the undercarriage.

Also remember, no treatment or coating will last forever, remember to reapply at regular intervals to maintain.

Inspect Regularly

Checking your vehicle over on a regular basis can allow you to catch rust accumulation and prevent it from spreading. When inspecting, check the:


Give your vehicle’s paint a regular once over. If you see dark spots in the paint, scratches or dings that show signs of rust, or paint that is blistering from below, these may be signs of rust build up.

Wheel Wells

These are frequent problem areas for rust build up because they aren’t in place sight. Most tire manufacturers recommend that you rotate your tires every 6,000 miles (10,000 km), so when you perform this maintenance, use the opportunity to check for rust as well. If there is too much mud to see clearly, spray with a hose to clean out the well before inspecting.


If your vehicle has a metal bumper, inspect these as well, checking the outside and inside surfaces and the mountings. This is especially important for older vehicles where metal bumpers can rust faster than the body of the vehicle.

Joints and Panels

Another place where rust can accumulate is in the joints and spaces between panels where sections of your vehicle meet. Even if your vehicle is made with non-rusting materials, the mounting brackets that hold panels in place can still be at risk.


The underside of your vehicle will usually take the most punishment during the winter because it is unpainted and directly exposed to snow, ice and road salt.

Checking beneath your vehicle during routine oil changes or tire rotation is a good way to nip any problems in the bud.


Scrape and Sand

If you find rust building up in paint cracks or crevices, gently scrape away using a single-edged razor blade or fine-grain sandpaper. For larger painted areas, a brush with stiff (not-metal) bristles can also help to remove rust. You can also use coarse sandpaper to grind the rust off large areas that are out of sight and not surrounded by paint.
Rust remover can help, but should only be applied after you get the loose rust off the surface, the rust remover can then help to get into the areas where the rust is in contact with your vehicle’s metal and loosen its grip on your vehicle.

Remember, to work inward from the edges. Otherwise, you risk additional damage to the rest of your vehicle’s finish.

Apply Rust Arrestor

After you’ve removed all the rust, apply a rust arrestor. This will help to keep the rust from spreading further and provide an extra layer of protection.

Prime and Paint

Once your rust arrestor has fully dried, you can prime and paint the affected area to restore your vehicle’s finish.

Consult a Professional

If your rust damage is extensive, and there are visible holes in the body of your vehicle, it may be time to take it to a body shop.

Get a few estimates first and then compare the cost against the blue book value of the vehicle. If the cost to repair outstrips the vehicle’s value, it may be time to move on to another vehicle.

Protect against rust damage


While rust is unavoidable, taking the right steps to understand, prevent, maintain and repair your vehicle will allow you to extend its life, and get the greatest value for every mile that you drive. No matter how bad the weather.

The 7 Most Iconic Movie Cars, Period.

For most of us, our first exposure to a real car came from the movies. While stunts and speed are enhanced by Hollywood Magic, there’s still something thrilling about seeing a powerful piece of machinery tearing up the road, flying through the air and surviving until the end credits.

In honor of Oscar Week, we thought we’d share our list of the seven most iconic movie cars of all time. If you happen to find yourself holding the pink slips for one of these vehicles, we've also provided a suggested cover, to keep your iconic car protected against the elements.

1. Bullitt - 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback

Lt. Bullitt: You believe what you want. You work your side of the street, and I'll work mine.


Trying to protect a witness on the mean streets of San Francisco? Don’t know who you can trust. Are you the kind of cop who does what he needs to, and damn the rules. Are you prepared to participate in one of the most gripping chase scenes filmed for a motion picture?

Then you need the 1968 Fold Mustang Fastback

Frank Bullitt's (Steve McQueen's) car is a 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback. The bad guys drive a 1968 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum. The Charger is just barely faster than the Mustang, with a 13.6-second quarter-mile compared to the Mustang's 13.8-second.

Fun Fact

McQueen was known to be an expert driver, performing many of the car and motorcycle stunts in movies like “Bullitt” and “The Great Escape”.

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2. Back to the Future – Delorean DMC-12

Marty McFly: You made a time machine… out of a DeLorean?


Jumping jigawatts! If you’re trying to get back to the future before you stop your parents from falling in love and thereby erasing your own existence, you need to be behind the wheel of the DeLorean DMC-12.

Designed by Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, and engineered by Lotus Cars of England, the DMC-12 consisted of stainless steel body panels, a rear-mounted 2.85 litre V-6 PRV engine, and stylish gullwing doors, which only require 14-inches (35.5cm) of side clearance to open.

While the DeLorean Motor Company folded shortly after the film opened, the sleek stainless steel design lives on, in a place where you don’t need roads.

Fun Fact

While the Delorean could easily go from 0-60 in 8.8 seconds, experts contest that the car couldn’t have reached the required 88 mph necessary for time travel, especially when driving around a mall parking lot.

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3. The Blues Brothers - 1974 Dodge Monaco

Elwood: There's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, its dark out, and we're wearing sunglasses.
Joliet Jake: Hit it!


When you’re on a mission from God, you need a car that can make it to Chicago in record time, brakes that allow you to pull off insane parking maneuvers and shocks that can withstand a jump off the 95th St. Bridge.

Look no further than the Bluesmobile.

The Bluesmobile is a decommissioned police 1974 Dodge Monaco sedan with a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant, cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks and it was made before catalytic converters so it gets great power on regular gas.

The key player in one of the most over the top chase scenes ever conceived, this machine will get you where you need to go, no matter how many police cars are after you.


Fun Fact

At the time of the film's release, it set a world record for the most cars destroyed in one film; it held this distinction until 1998 when it was surpassed by its own sequel.

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4. Smokey and the Bandit - 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Cledus Snow: Atlanta to Texarkana and back in twenty-eight hours? That ain't never been done before, not in no rig.
Bandit: That's cause *we* ain't never done it in no rig.


Eastbound and down? Trying to get from Texas to Atlanta with a truckload of contraband beer? You need a really speedy car to keep one very determined Sheriff from catching you, specifically the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.

The Pontiac Trans Am benefitted from a then new and distinctive, slant-nose facelift that included inset square headlights.  Pontiac offered the 400 cu in (6.6 L) engine with a single 4-barrel Rochester Quadrajet carburetor RPO and a maximum torque of 325 lb.⋅ft. at 2400 rpm, as opposed to the regular 6.6 L 400 (RPO L78) rated at 180 Hp (130 kW).

While Burt Reynolds left us this past year, his legacy lives on, every time one of these speed machines comes racing down the highway.

Fun Fact

Trans-Am sales went up 70% after Smokey and the Bandit opened. The president of Pontiac Motor Company appreciated it so much that he offered Burt Reynolds a free Pontiac every year for life. Unfortunately, it was for the life of the President of Pontiac who passed on six years (and six cars) later.

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5. Bonnie and Clyde – 1934 Ford Model B (V8)

Bonnie Parker: Would you know what kind of car this is?
C.W. Moss: This is a 4-Cylinder Ford Coupe.
Bonnie Parker: No, this is a stolen 4-Cylinder Ford Coupe.

The only historical car on the list, the real-life Bonnie and Clyde stole a V8 Ford and used it to commit a string of robberies across the Midwest. Their story ended when their car was riddled with over 100 armor piercing bullets at close range.

Offering an 85hp engine a 221 cu. in. engine with dual carburetors, three-speed transmission and 4-wheel mechanical brakes, the car made for a fast, stylish and roomy getaway car.

Arthur Penn’s film adaptation starred Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway and the final scene showing the famed duo getting gunned down shocked audiences and ushered in a new kind of film-making that changed how violence could be depicted on screen.

Fun Fact

Before his untimely demise, Clyde Barrow wrote a letter to Henry Ford praising the speed and power of the Ford V8.

“For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got ever other car skinned and even if my business hasen’t been strickly legal it don’t hurt enything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8. [sic]”

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6. Ghostbusters - Ecto 1 - The 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance Limo

Peter Venkman: I make it a rule never to get involved with possessed people. Actually, it's more of a guideline than a rule...


When you’re the world’s best (and only) paranormal entrapment and elimination service, you need a vehicle that can carry four unlicensed nuclear accelerators around New York City while dodging ghosts, slimers, the EPA and the biggest marshmallow to ever walk the earth.

Who ya gonna call? Ecto 1 a.k.a. the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance Limo.

The Miller-Meteor was a rare creation, made by two former competitors with a limited production. Only about 400 vehicles were made. The power plant was a 6.3-liter V-8, good for 320 horsepower. Seems like a lot until you factor in the cars’ curb weight: around three tons. The tailfins were the largest to appear on a production car. They’re the same from the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado.

At nearly 20 feet in length, the Cadillac Miller-Meteor isn’t the easiest to navigate, but at least you get a smooth ride thanks to its air suspension system.

Fun Fact

Early scripts called for a 1975 Cadillac ambulance. Though by the time the final shooting script was locked in, the 1959 model was settled on, though the purchase price was too low at $1,400. The cost Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) mentions in the film, $4,800, was more believable.

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7. Goldfinger (James Bond) - Aston Martin DB5

Q: Do try to bring it back in one piece 007.


Trying to save the world from nefarious megalomaniacs and their evil henchmen? Hoping to seduce Pussy Galore and convert her from a foe to an ally? Then the only car for you in the Aston Martin DB5.

The high-performance DB5 Vantage was introduced in 1964 featuring three twin-choke 45DCOE side-draft Weber carburetors and revised camshaft profiles, delivering greater top-end performance Only 65 DB5 Vantage coupés were built, so finding one isn’t easy. Also, the ejector seat and usual countermeasures are extra.

Fun Fact

Aston Martins Have Appeared In Half Of All Bond Films. After the DB5 appeared in Goldfinger, it was established as Bond’s signature vehicle. Since then it’s appeared in Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Living Daylights, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.

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Disagree with our list? Share your ideas in the comments. Remember, the car needs to have been featured in a full-length film that was shown in theaters. We’ll do TV cars another time.


25 Tips to Get Your Patio Ready for Spring

Spring has arrived. As days get longer and temperatures warm up, it’s a great time to enjoy using your patio. Before you take out your furniture it’s a good idea to give your patio a thorough cleaning. That way, it’s easier to clean when you don’t have to avoid your furniture and it gives you a clean slate to set up for the season.

Not sure where to start? These 25 tips will help you spring clean your patio and get your outdoor space ready for relaxation.

Patio Spring Cleaning

Sweep and Dust

  • Sweep up dust, leaves and debris
  • Dust any hard to reach areas. This may include high shelves or ceiling fan blades.
  • Pull weeds or cut back any grass or overgrown bushes or trees that are intruding.
  • Clean the windows.
  • If you have any screens, check for wear and tear and patch any holes.
  • Check overhangs and eaves for spider webs, pests (dead or alive) and anything else that may have accumulated.
  • Check your gutters, if necessary have them cleaned.

Once you’ve cleaned your patio, give your dirt and debris free floors some attention.

Polish the Floors

  • If you have a stone, tile or concrete patio, give it a good scrubbing with a power washer, or use a stiff brush and a mix of bleach and water.
  • If you have a wooden patio floor, check the wood for any fading or warping due to water. Keep an eye out for termites, wasps and other pests as well. If necessary, take the time to stain or waterproof.
  • If you want your stone or tile patio floor to have a glossy “wet look” you can use a clear gloss sealer and apply with a paint roller.

Re treat patio with gloss and stain

Check and Maintain

Take advantage of the spring cleaning to check and maintain your:


  • Open up your patio umbrellas and check your open and close mechanism to ensure that everything is working. Then, brush them off and give them a good cleaning.

Grills and Fire Pits

  • Dump out any old coals from your charcoal grill or fire pit and give it a good soaking.
  • If you have a propane grill, check your lines to make sure all water is out (otherwise your grill won’t ignite) and check your tanks to make sure you have enough propane for the season.
  • Put a cover on your grill to keep it protected from condensation and rust.

Hot Tub

  • Give your hot tub a thorough cleaning from top to bottom and use a purging agent to get any dirt or residue out of your plumbing.
  • Fill and re-balance your water to make sure the chemistry is right. Using a pre-filter can help you to remove metals or sediment from the water.
  • Keep your hot tub covered when not in use. It will keep your tub cleaner and discourage pests from trying to use it as a watering hole.

Fountains and Water Elements

  • If you have an outdoor fountain, flush out the water lines and clean off any calcium stains.


  • Check for burnt out bulbs and replace. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you may want to check the wiring.
  • If you’re using older bulbs, spring is a great time to get eco-friendly and replace them with more efficient LEDs.
  • Worried about security? Consider replacing or upgrading your existing outdoor lighting fixtures with fixtures that include motion sensors.

Bring Out Your Furniture

Once your patio is clean and your accessories are ready, it’s time to bring out the furniture.

  • Hopefully, you’ve kept it covered while in storage, but if not, give it a thorough cleaning. Hose it down, or use a favorite household cleaner to remove dust, checking for mold, mildew or rust.
  • If you have cushions, give them time to air out, or run a portable vacuum over them to get rid of dust, pollen or mold. You may want to throw fabric covers in the laundry. Always clean according to the manufacturer’s instructions. To keep them clean for next year, consider investing in a cushion storage bag.

You can also read more on our blog for ideas on cleaning your patio furniture.

Assess Your Future Needs

  • It’s a great time to start thinking about your décor. Look into new ways to freshen up the design of your patio, solutions don't have to be expensive.
  • Got new pieces of furniture or patio accessories since last year? Make sure they have a cover for when they’re not in use.

Give your patio a little extra time in the spring and you’ll be able to enjoy it all season long.

Then when it’s time to pack up, you’ll have the tools you need to be able to keep everything clean and ready for next year.

New Car, No Problem

New Car, No Problem

We'd like to introduce you to Walter Ropchan. Walter just purchased a 2019 Honda Insight and wanted a cover. This is a new design that Honda just released. so covers aren't widely available yet. Fortunately, we have a Size 3 cover that we were able to try on his car. Walter learned how to cover his car by assisting us with the process. He was able to see the fit and decided to place an order with us.

Walter was very happy with is experience and asked us to share some pictures.

Walter Ropchan


Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma
Purchased a boat cover for my Skeeter 210SX in July 2017. Decided to leave it on during Hurricane Irma, and the cover survived 94 mph gusts without a single tear or broken stitch! Thanks Empire for making a great product!

Cody Gordon

‎Awesome Products!

‎Awesome Products!
Bought a cover for my 23ft Class C Motorhome, fit perfect and love the Easy access to the RV if needed Just unzip the side and in you go, how easy is that, Somone one was thinking.

Also Bought a Motorcyle Cover for my 2006 Road Glide. Fits perfect, love the fact you can unzip the part by the Tour Pak and have access to your Tour Pak if need be in the winter, again, someone was thinking.

Chuck Secord

Rust-Oleum NeverWet - The Most Innovative Car Cover

Our American Armor Plus Car Cover with Rust-Oleum® NeverWet® Technology is our most advanced cover yet! This unparalleled cover repels water, mud, ice, and other liquids. A soft inner lining protects your vehicle's paint from scratches.

How to Install an Empire Covers Bimini Top

With an EmpireCovers Bimini Top you can enjoy being out on the water without having to worry about harmful UV rays and pop-up rain storms. Rated for 40 knots, our bimini tops are ready for any sort of unpredictable weather.