Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation


I’m 18 years old and have worked three jobs since I was 14 to pay all expenses for my vehicle, housing, food, etc. I like to keep my car looking the same as it did the day I brought it home. I have all kinds of detailing products and specific rags for each type of cleaner-white rags for degreasers, blue rags for car washes, green ones for wax–However, every week I come home to find my father washing his car on the front lawn using white rags and cleaning his wheels with the green rags and the like. Despite numerous requests for him to ask before using my items, he fails to grasp the concept of respect for other people’s items.

Thus I have no choice but to resort to parenting my father through indirect punishment so to speak–much like dipping a kids fingers in hot sauce to keep them from biting their nails.

Any suggestions about what I could soak my rags in that would permanently damage the paint/clear coat on his car when he uses my things without permission?

Just something nice to put him through for the hell he puts me through.

A $2000.00 act of VANDALISM there,
not a “lesson”.

Either label them well in separate boxes or bags.
Or lock them up.
Heck , charge him a user fee if they mean that much to you and your OCD.

( I do agree that a wax rag can’t double as a soap rag. I’d LABEL them. Even for myself to remember next time. )

If I thought this post was for real, I would have a few things to say. However you did remind me of how lucky I am to have the kids I have along with their spouses.

Huh ? If you’re serious, try it out on your own car to be sure it works.

My advice is to leave that household.
If your family has really been charging you for food and housing since you were 14 years of age, that actually constitutes child neglect/abuse. (Specific definition may vary from one state to another)

Now, you and your father are in a war over his use/misuse of your property.

It sounds to me like this is a highly dysfunctional family situation.
Before things degenerate into violence (and your intentions indicate that this may not be far away), I suggest that you make plans to vacate those premises.

Now that you are of legal age, it is too late for you to contact the child welfare agency in your state about the neglect/abuse, so if I was faced with this type of situation, I would just get all of my ducks in a row–so to speak–and then find my own place to live.

Good luck!

And their lucky they don’t have a dad that made them pay for everything they needed since they were 14.

Buy yourself a padlock, make a space for your stuff, lock it up and buy your dad whatever supplies of yours he uses, for his birthday, Christmas, and maybe even an anniversary present. It is a win win. Your hormones are raging it sounds like, it is easier to destroy than to build, but building is more satisfying. Rags come and go, family is forever.

Guys remember we CAN be trolled.

If this is really a valid post then remember one thing…revenge is not a one way street. Your father would more than likely know who had “revenge” on him and he may just take a sledgehammer to your vehicle. I think your best road would be the road that leads away from your current home life.

So you wanna vandalize the old mans car because he uses your cleaning rags? What sort of revenge do you exact from fellow motorists who ‘steal’ YOUR parking space? or maybe commit other heinous driving crime.
Grow up kid before somebody gets hurt.

Forensic Files. Unsolved Mysteries. Don’t become one of them. Who is driving and who is nuts, that is the question.

Buy him some rags to use and keep yours hidden away. Thats the only wat to do it.

If you are really wanting to sabotage him then your a little jerk and need to grow up. If you were using that as an example only then choose your words wisely.

The rag man at work would complain when we turned in rags with drill shavings embeded in them,then he quit complaining and simply returned the exact same rags we turned in, that cured us of cleaning up drill shavings with rags. When we have car washes at church someone always wants to wash the body of the car with the same rag they cleaned the wheels or washed the very lowest areas of the car with,there is always stones or grit in the rag if you do this.

This is Car Talk, not Dear Abby.

Seriously, if this is such a problem then put the rags where dad can’t find them. If your situation is so bad then move out–you are 18 and acting like you are 13.

Get a girlfriend and stop worrying about how shiny your truck is. Nobody but you even cares.

If this problem is real and you are serious, print out this entire discussion and give it to your guidance counselor at school. He or she might be able to get you or your family the help you need.

What you’re considering is just plain mean.

I agree with VDC. If you’re so intolerant of your dad using your things, than move yourself elswhere.

Get a lockable toolbox, safe, locker, etc to keep your stuff locked up if you don’t want the man using them. I don’t suggest doing anything malicious to “teach him a lesson” since it will likely cause a permanent rift in your family and could result in criminal charges against you. I have always found this to be a simple and effective solution for this type of problem. Any time I have an issue at work with people using my tools without my permission and/or not returning them to me, I simply keep my toolbox locked up and only unlock it if I am removing or replacing one of my tools. Very effective and not malicious.

You mean as in obsessive cleaning of the guns I hope. This cleaning thing (meaning the OP and his car) will stick with him for good or bad the rest of his life (that is if the thread is real). I had a friend that was a lousy mechanic but he sure could clean things. He was really anxious to get his small block rebuild back on track so he just has to find something to do.This guy picked bead blasting the old orange paint off the heads so he could put some real nice new orange paint on them. The trouble came at engine start up time where we found out he did not get all the bead blast medium out of the heads. As soon as the medium hit the cylinder walls the engine lost compression and died, I could not figure out why this happened but we oiled it up and got it going again. After 3 months the engine developed a rod knock,one that got very bad. We tore the engine down and found that even the cam bearings were worn out, this is when we put 2+2 together about the head cleaning.Obsessive cleaning can have very bad results.

I simply don’t believe you’ve been self-supporting since you were 14, or that you’re self-supporting now, since according to your story you’re still living at home.

Last time you posted here, in January of 2011 you were driving a 2003 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab SE which you purchased in Honolulu. After purchasing it you moved to Colorado in June of 2010 and presumably had enough cash to ship the truck there from Hawaii.

Between those two dates, in fall 2010 you were driving a 1994 Trooper, presumably in Colorado.

So now you’re driving possibly two vehicles, either or both in pristine condition because you are always detailing, and both due to their age and yours were bought used. At least one of them was shipped from Hawaii to Colorado.

Making stuff up is no way to go through life, son.

Good catch!!!