Archive for the ‘car care guide’ Tag

Six Ways You Could be Killing Your Car

Owning a car can be a dream or a nightmare depending on how well you take care of your vehicle, says the non-profit Car Care Council. The following are six things that many motorists do that can harm their car and their wallet.

1. Ignoring the check engine light. Ignoring an illuminated check engine light can result in serious engine trouble and costly repairs. At the very least, this warning light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy.

2. Failing to change fluids and filters. Many fluids are required for the operation and protection of vehicle systems and components. Checking fluid levels regularly, along with the filters, helps ensure that your vehicle runs dependably and extends vehicle life.

3. Neglecting your tires. Your vehicle’s tires should be checked frequently for inflation and tread depth. Underinflated tires can wear out more quickly, needing to be replaced sooner, and can negatively impact safety, gas mileage and performance.

4. Not following a service schedule. Because many car parts and components wear out or become damaged over time, vehicles need to be routinely serviced in order to perform optimally. Routine inspections and timely repairs will help keep your car running efficiently and will help you avoid more expensive repairs down the road.

5. Keeping a dirty car. Allowing your car to go too long without a wash leads to buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt, increases the potential for rust from road salt and interferes with proper visibility needed for safe driving.

6. Being a severe driver. Whether it’s stop-and-go traffic, extreme weather, rough roads or heavy loads, it can sometimes be difficult to limit severe driving conditions. However, you can drive smart and improve fuel economy by observing the speed limit; avoiding aggressive driving, including quick starts and stops; not hauling unnecessary items; and keeping your vehicle properly tuned.

“Because auto care isn’t always a top priority for car owners, they might not realize they are doing things that adversely affect the performance, safety and value of their car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Routine maintenance can go a long way toward saving money, avoiding headaches and protecting your vehicle investment.”

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at http://media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/six-ways-killing-car/

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Are You a Severe Driver?

Things change, including the way we use our cars, how we drive them and the condition of our roads. Although normal driving is defined as steady driving in non-extreme weather or environments, for most motorists today, being a severe driver is more the rule than the exception, says the Car Care Council.

According to the council’s Car Care Guide, severe driving refers to:

Stop-and-go traffic
Short commutes
Heavier loads: cargo, passenger or towing a trailer
Rough or mountainous roads
Dusty or salty environments
Driving in extremely hot or cold weather

“According to definition, most driving is going to be considered ‘severe.’ However, there are easy steps you can take to limit the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle and improve fuel economy,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By properly maintaining and repairing your vehicle, it will perform safely, dependably and efficiently for years to come, no matter the driving conditions.”

The Car Care Council recommends that motorists be car care aware and take actions to reduce the effects of severe driving, such as:

Follow the “severe” service schedule in your owner’s manual.
Check fluids, including oil, and filters more frequently.
Have certain components such as brakes and shocks inspected more regularly.
Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage.
Don’t haul unneeded items in the trunk as extra weight will reduce fuel economy.
Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage.
Order a free copy of the 80-page Car Care Guide at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-resource/car-care-guide/.

The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

As read on: http://www.carcare.org/2015/09/severe-driver/

Home for the Holidays: Is Your Car Up for the Journey?

Before you pack up the car to head home for the holidays, the Car Care Council reminds you to make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. Conducting a thorough vehicle inspection will help you avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles away from home.

“It’s easy to remember to get your family ready for the holiday festivities, but what about preparing the car that’s going to get you there?” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Having a pre-inspection performed on your car will give you peace of mind as you travel and help make your journey safer.”

Before leaving home, the Car Care Council recommends a check of the following, often overlooked, items: tires and tire pressure, brakes, hoses and belts, air filters, wipers, exterior and interior lighting, and fluid levels, including engine oil, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

“A pre-trip inspection provides the opportunity to have service repairs made at home by your own trusted technician who knows the vehicle, and helps reduce the chance of costly and dangerous trouble on the road,” said Rich While.

The Car Care Council also recommends that drivers keep important telephone numbers in their cell phone or glove box in case of a breakdown or travel emergency. Vehicles should have a roadside emergency kit that includes items such as a first aid kit, a tire-changing jack, a tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, a flashlight and a blanket. A copy of the recently-updated 80-page Car Care Guide should be kept in the glove box and can be ordered free of charge at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

As read on: http://www.carcare.org/2014/11/home-holidays-car-journey/

Do Your “PART” during Tire Safety Week

Maintaining your vehicle’s tires is not only essential to getting better gas mileage, but it is also crucial to ensuring safety on the road. To maximize tire life, the Car Care Council recommends checking tire condition and pressure regularly, and there is no better time to start than National Tire Safety Week.

“It takes only five minutes to check tire inflation, including the spare. Since tires effect a vehicle’s ride, handling and traction, checking tire pressure frequently and having tires rotated and balanced are an important part of vehicle safety,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “We encourage all motorists to do their ‘PART’ and check vehicle tire Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread on a regular basis.”

Pressure – Correct tire pressure is good to your wallet and the environment as properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by three percent or ten cents per gallon. Underinflated tires are under stress and wear uneven, causing them to be replaced sooner.

Alignment – If your car is shaking or pulling to one side it could be a sign of an alignment issue. Because uneven or accelerated tire wear may indicate an alignment problem, it’s a good idea to have your car’s alignment checked at least once a year.

Rotation – Unless your car manual has a specific recommendation, the Car Care Council recommends having tires rotated every 6,000 miles to promote uniform tire wear. Unbalanced wheels can cause rapid wear of shock absorbers and struts, and wheel balance can change as a result of normal tire wear. Rotating the tires to keep their sizes equal is critical on full-size four-wheel drive vehicles as a difference of only 1/4 inch between the outside circumference of the front and rear tires can cause expensive damage. Replacing all four tires at the same time, rather than just the front or rear tires, is highly recommended for these vehicles.

Tread – Use the penny test and visually inspect tires for sign of uneven wear. If the tread depth falls below the minimum legal requirement or the sidewalls become severely cracked or punctured, tire replacement will be necessary.

The Car Care Council supports the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Tire Safety Week (June 1-7, 2014). For more information on service interval schedules, questions to ask a technician and tips to drive smart and save money, check out the council’s free digital Car Care Guide online at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2014/06/do-your-part-during-tire-safety-week/