Archive for the ‘car care’ Tag

Basic Auto Care Many Drivers Miss

Fluids and lubricants rank among the most neglected items when it comes to basic auto care, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

Community car care events held throughout the country found that the top-three fluids most likely to be low or contaminated are windshield washer fluid in 26 percent of inspected vehicles, followed by engine oil at 23 percent and coolant at 19 percent.

Windshield washer fluid keeps dirt and debris from collecting on a vehicle’s windshield, allowing the driver full visibility and making it an essential safety item. Windshield washer fluid should be checked monthly and drivers should use a fluid that is specially formulated for their climate.

Engine oil lubricates the moving parts of a vehicle’s engine, helping keep the engine clean and preventing wear and overheating. Neglecting to change a vehicle’s oil can lead to costly repairs, including replacement. Engine oil levels should be checked frequently and changed per the owner’s manual.

Coolant absorbs heat from the engine and dissipates it through the radiator and heat exchanger. Because coolant breaks down over time, neglecting it can lead to corrosion, rust and engine overheating. Flushing and replacing coolant every six to 12 months, depending upon climate, will help prevent costly repairs.

“Checking fluids and lubricants is easy to put off, but each is critical to your vehicle running properly and safely,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The good news is that they are easy to check and inexpensive to replace. Whether you do it yourself or visit a trusted technician, be sure to inspect your vehicle for any possible signs of trouble so you can address minor service needs before they turn into major repairs.”

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.

Dream Vacation or Nightmare Road Trip? Pre-Trip Vehicle Check Can Make the Difference

Road trip car trouble can be a real nightmare, but performing a pre-trip vehicle check helps drivers avoid a vacation breakdown disaster, says the Car Care Council.

“When dreaming about summer vacation, the thought of a roadside breakdown can be terrifying,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Performing a pre-trip driveway inspection gives motorists peace of mind by reducing the chance of unplanned, costly car trouble and providing an opportunity to have any repairs performed by a trusted technician before hitting the road.”

Right in their own driveway, motorists can determine how road ready their vehicle is with a 10-minute vehicle check. If service or repairs are needed, they can be performed in advance to ensure safety and reliability on the road.

Check the tires including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
Check the hoses and belts as they can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
Check filters and fluids including engine oil, power steering and brake, and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
Check the brakes and battery to be sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free and that the brakes are functioning properly.

The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit, consider a pre-trip tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy, and order a free copy of the Car Care Council’s popular Car Care Guide for the glove box 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/dream-vacation-or-nightmare-road-trip-pre-trip-vehicle-check-can-make-the-difference/

BE AWARE! KEEP YOUR VEHICLE SAFE, DEPENDABLE AND ON THE ROAD LONGER.

National Tire Safety Week May 29-June 4

National Tire Safety Week is May 29 – June 4. Now is a great time to inspect your tires for wear and tear, as well as check tire pressure and alignment.

According to a national survey conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, only 17 percent of drivers are considered “tire smart” and know the correct way to check their tire pressure.

“Underinflated tires are under stress and will eventually wear unevenly, making them a safety hazard, not to mention an added expense since the worn out tires will have to be replaced sooner,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Properly inflated tires will not only help keep you safe on the road, but will improve gas mileage and performance.”

The Car Care Council recommends that vehicle owners check the pressure of all tires, including the spare, on a monthly basis and more often during colder weather. Tires should be inflated to recommended pressure levels, rotated every 6,000 miles to promote uniform tire wear and be replaced if worn or damaged.

The penny test is a popular and simple way to check tire tread. If you see Lincoln’s head above the tread, than it is time for new tires. In addition, the tread should be checked for uneven or irregular wear as well as cuts or bruises along sidewalls.

“Tires are such an important safety issue that you can’t take their condition lightly,” continued White. “Routinely checking tire balance and wheel alignment will reduce tire wear and improve handling.”

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 80-page Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2016/05/use-spare-time-check-tires/

Be Car Care Aware Before Your Holiday Road Trip

The holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about your vehicle making it over the river and through the woods in time for dinner at grandma’s house. The Car Care Council recommends that before hitting the road for the holidays, you take a little time to have your vehicle thoroughly inspected to make sure it is road ready.

“The last thing anyone wants during the holiday season is to break down miles from home in the middle of nowhere,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It’s always a wise idea to have your vehicle checked out before you leave home to identify any potential problems that can be serviced before your holiday journey.”

The non-profit Car Care Council suggests a pre-trip check of the following items on your vehicle to help ensure a safe holiday road trip: 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 will not only make sure your vehicle is running right, but it will also help make the trip a lot less stressful,” continued White. “Whether you do it yourself or visit a trusted neighborhood technician, being car care aware before you leave home will help you relax and enjoy the ride to your holiday destination without the worry of unexpected, costly car trouble.”

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

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2015/11/be-car-care-aware-holiday-road-trip/

Don’t Be Spooked By Basic Car Care

While Halloween is a scary time of year, vehicle owners don’t need to be spooked about basic car care. The non-profit Car Care Council recommends motorists follow a preventative vehicle maintenance plan to help take away the fear of unexpected breakdowns and frightening repair costs.

“Getting an oil change should never be scary; having wipers replaced should not be horrifying; and asking a professional automotive technician questions should not make someone shake in fear,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “With a quick visit to http://www.carcare.org, motorists will find free online tools from the Car Care Council to help take the fear out of auto care.”

The Car Care Council’s online custom service schedule and email reminder service can help car owners be more responsible and remember to include auto care in their busy schedules. This easy-to-use resource is free-of-charge and can be personalized to help make auto care more convenient and economical. The council also has a general service schedule that can be printed and followed. Drivers should be sure to consult their vehicle owner’s manual for specific recommendations by the carmaker.

Motorists can order a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-guide. Available in English and Spanish, the popular guide uses easy-to-understand language and includes descriptions of major vehicle systems, questions to ask a professional technician, and a checklist to remind drivers what vehicle systems need to be maintained and when service or repair should be performed. Special sections on fuel economy and environmental awareness show drivers how to get better gas mileage and make their vehicle more environmentally friendly.

The Car Care Council’s video entitled “Auto Service and Repair: What to Expect” helps drivers become more comfortable with the auto service and repair process, providing valuable information on such topics as finding the right auto repair facility, what to expect at the shop and what questions to ask. The video also covers the real truth about consumer rights and the manufacturer’s warranty. View the video online at http://www.carcare.org/2012/01/auto-repair-shop-video/.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2015/10/dont-spooked-basic-car-care/

Car Care with Kids

New drivers love their cars, but they typically don’t realize what it
takes to maintain them. The Car Care Council recommends having fun
teaching children about the importance of car care long before they can
drive so they know how routine maintenance impacts the safety and
dependability of their vehicle.

“Many children love learning how cars operate, however, they don’t
really understand the nuts and bolts of what it takes to properly
maintain a car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
“By taking the time to teach your children the basics of car care, they
will not only learn to appreciate the value of taking care of a car, but
they will be more informed and better prepared for the day they become a
car owner.”

There are many do-it-yourself service procedures that can be
performed by parents and children together. The Car Care Council
suggests starting with three easy and fun maintenance steps to give
children a general overview of car maintenance.

Check Lights and Wiper Blades – Explain to children the
importance of being able to see and be seen when driving. Show them how
to replace the wiper blades and work together to make sure all interior
and exterior lights work properly.

Wash the Car – Kids love to help wash the car. Ask them to
look for any dents, dings, scratches or cracked glass, as these
problems, when left unattended, can lead to more expensive repairs down
the line.

Check the Oil – Show children how to check the oil and explain
how periodic oil and filter changes help keep your car clean on the
inside of the engine. Also explain that other vehicle fluids, such as
windshield solvent, should be checked and refilled to keep the car
running properly.
To help understand and explain the importance of auto care, the Car
Care Council developed its popular Car Care Guide. Available in English
and Spanish, the 80-page guide 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 copy of
the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2015/07/car-care-kids/

Three Ps of Auto Care: Preventative, Proactive, Prepared

In recognition of National Preparedness Month in September, the non-profit Car Care Council reminds motorists of the importance of the three Ps of auto care to make sure their vehicle is ready for the unexpected.
1. Preventative – Reduce the chance of unplanned, costly car trouble by following a vehicle service schedule and performing routine maintenance. The Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle.
2. Proactive: If you find your vehicle needs repairs, be sure to address them in a timely manner to avoid more extensive work down the road. Before traveling longer distances, perform a pre-trip inspection before your journey begins so you have an opportunity to have any repairs made by a trusted technician before hitting the road.
3Prepared: Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle in case an unexpected situation arises. The kit should include jumper cables, a road atlas, first-aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, water, non-perishable food and blankets. Be sure your cell phone is fully charged and order a free copy of the Car Care Council’s Car Care Guide for your glove box.
“Emergencies and natural disasters come in a variety of forms. Being car care aware and taking proactive steps in advance will help ensure that your vehicle is in proper working order so you will be better prepared if you encounter a problem while on the road,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
To learn about the American Public Health Association’s Get Ready program and how to stay safe behind the wheel when a disaster hits, visit http://www.getreadyforflu.org/DrivingDisasters.htm.
Being prepared for a disaster also means getting your car ready to go at a moment’s notice and restocking an emergency kit for the unexpected.  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.Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2015/09/national-preparedness-month-car-ready/

Seven Signs Your Brakes Need to be Inspected

The Car Care Council reminds motorists that routine brake inspections are essential to safe driving and maintaining your vehicle.

“When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list, so have your brakes checked by an auto service professional at least once a year,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Knowing the key warning signs that your brakes may need maintenance will go a long way toward keeping you and others safe on the road.”

The Car Care Council recommends that motorists watch for seven signs that their brakes need to be inspected:

1. Noise: screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.

2. Pulling: vehicle pulls to one side while braking.

3. Low Pedal:brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging.

4. Hard Pedal: must apply extreme pressure to the pedal before brakes engage.

5. Grabbing: brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.

6. Vibration: brake pedal vibrates or pulses, even under normal braking conditions.

7. Light: brake light is illuminated on your vehicle’s dashboard.

Brakes are a normal wear item on any vehicle and they will eventually need to be replaced. Factors that can affect brake wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material.

Using the Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you remember to have your brakes inspected and take better care of your vehicle. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2014/08/seven-signs-your-brakes-need-to-be-inspected/

Driving in the “Cone Zone” Can be Tough on Vehicles

It’s bound to happen – that moment when you enter into the “cone zone,” road construction where you will likely hit a bump or two, or come across loose stones and other hazards. These rough road conditions can be tough on a vehicle’s steering and suspension system and can throw out the alignment, while loose stones have the potential to damage the vehicle’s exterior or windshield, according to the Car Care Council.

“Even the most careful driver, who is traveling slowly and carefully through road construction, can hit an unexpected bump or other road hazards,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The key is to pay attention to your car and if you think there’s a problem, have it taken care of as soon as possible.”

The symptoms of steering and suspension or wheel alignment problems are uneven tire wear, pulling to one side, noise and vibration while cornering or loss of control. The main parts of the systems are shocks and/or struts, the steering knuckle, ball joints, the steering rack/box, bearings, seals or hub units and tie rod ends.

The council recommends that motorists have their vehicles checked out immediately if any of these symptoms exist, as steering and suspension systems are key safety-related components and largely determine the car’s ride and handling. Regardless of road conditions, these systems should be checked annually and a wheel alignment should be performed at the same time.

Motorists also should do frequent visual checks of their vehicle’s exterior and windshield to identify any chips, dings or cracks. These are small problems that can become costly repairs and safety hazards if they aren’t taken care of immediately.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2011/05/driving-in-the-cone-zone-can-be-tough-on-vehicles/

How to Communicate for Better Automotive Service

Today’s cars, light trucks, and sport-utility vehicles are high-tech marvels with digital dashboards, oxygen sensors, electronic computers, unibody construction, and more. They run better, longer, and more efficiently than models of years past.

But when it comes to repairs, some things stay the same. Whatever type of repair facility you patronize–dealership, service station, independent garage, specialty shop, or a national franchise–good communication between the customer and the shop is vital.

The following tips should help you along the way:

Do your homework before taking your vehicle in for repairs or service.

– Read the owner’s manual to learn about the vehicle’s systems and components.

– Follow the recommended service schedules.

– Keep a log of all repairs and service.

When you think about it, you know your car better than anyone else. You drive it every day and know how it feels and sounds when everything is right. So don’t ignore its warning signals.

Use all of your senses to inspect your car frequently. Check for:

– Unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning lights, gauge readings.

– Changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage, fluid levels.

– Worn tires, belts, hoses.

– Problems in handling, braking, steering, vibrations.

– Note when the problem occurs.

– Is it constant or periodic?

– When the vehicle is cold or after the engine has warmed up?

– At all speeds? Only under acceleration? During braking? When shifting?

– When did the problem first start?

Professionally run repair establishments have always recognized the importance of communications in automotive repairs.
Once you you are at the repair establishment, communicate your findings.

– Be prepared to describe the symptoms. (In larger shops you’ll probably speak with a service writer/service manager rather than with the technician directly.)

– Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give to the technician or service manager.

– Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair. Just as you would with your physician, tell where it hurts and how long it’s been that way, but let the technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.

Stay involved…Ask questions.

– Ask as many questions as you need. Do not be embarrassed to request lay definitions.

– Don’t rush the service writer or technician to make an on-the-spot diagnosis. Ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action, and costs before work begins.

– Before you leave, be sure you understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.

– Leave a telephone number where you can be called.

Read more at: http://www.ase.com/News-Events/Publications/Glove-Box-Tips/How-to-Communicate-for-Better-Automotive-Service.aspx