Archive for the ‘tips’ Tag

Labor Day Driving Tips

Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest weekends on the road, so planning ahead and being well prepared are essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. To make the most of Labor Day, it pays to know a few things in advance to avoid being stuck on the road on your way back home from a great holiday weekend.

The last thing you want on Labor Day is a car that breaks on the road. A routine check of the engine, radiator and fluids will go a long way. Tires should be well inflated and wiper fluid should be replenished. Also, check that the steering wheel and brakes work properly. A car emergency kit should include, at a minimum, jumper wires, a tire gauge, a flashlight, a tool kit with wrenches and screwdrivers, duct tape, rags and an emergency stop sign. Add a first-aid kit, a bottle of water, a blanket and some energy bars in case something happens and you’re stranded for some time.

Staying Safe

There are two major reasons for accidents on highways: losing concentration while driving and ignoring the risk of big trucks. If you are tired, had a drink or feel sick, either give the wheel to somebody else or postpone the driving. This is especially important coming back home on Labor Day, as many spend the day drinking and having fun, and chances are people are tired and moody. Monitor yourself and learn your limits, so you can head to a rest stop if you start feeling dizzy, confused or sleepy. Big trucks are especially dangerous if you cut in front of them quickly and unexpectedly, as trucks cannot brake fast enough to avoid a collision if things get tight. Also, trucks drivers have lots of blind spots, where they are unable to see you and thus avoid you. As a general rule, if you can’t see the truck’s mirror, the driver can’t see you either.

Avoiding the Madness

The most important thing you can do is leave early. Take on the highways early Saturday morning or before rush hour on Friday. If you’re driving on Labor Day, follow the same rules. Most people will brave their return home in the early evening or late afternoon. Try getting to the highways before 4 p.m. or after 10 p.m. and you should be in much better shape. Another important thing you can do to prepare for Labor Day driving is to plan your route well. Look for alternate routes, program your GPS or use a map to get you where you need to go as fast and efficiently as possible. You also can check online to see if the road you’re planning to take is undergoing repairs or has scheduled lane changes, so you can search for alternatives or plan for additional driving time.

Read more at: http://traveltips.usatoday.com/labor-day-driving-tips-21014.html

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Avoid a Breakdown with a Belt Check

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — You may not see them, or know much about them, but engine belts are always working to keep your vehicle moving. Losing a belt can mean immediate trouble for the engine and a breakdown for you. The Car Car Council recommends motorists “be car care aware” and review the owner’s manual to ensure that belts are inspected and replaced at the proper intervals.

A vehicle’s belts are essential to the cooling, air conditioning and charging systems of the engine. Serpentine belts are used to turn the water pump, alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. Older cars use V-belts for various accessories and failure of this belt could strand a driver.

“You don’t want to be stranded because of a bad belt that could have been diagnosed with simple preventative maintenance,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “If the serpentine belt fails or breaks, the engine will fail to run and you may be stuck. The Car Care Council recommends replacing belts at specified intervals to save you from the hassle of a breakdown.”

Results of vehicle inspection events conducted around the country during National Car Care Month in April and Fall Car Care Month in October revealed that 12 percent of vehicles had belts in need of replacement.

Always check serpentine and V-belts for looseness and their overall condition. Replace V-belts when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Noise in the belt system is a sign of wear and the smell of burnt rubber can indicate a slipping belt. When changing a serpentine belt, it is important to check all the components in the serpentine system as tensioners and pulleys wear at the same rate as the belt and should be inspected.

Typical serpentine belt replacement is 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Typical V-belt replacement is 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Replace the timing belt per interval specified in the owner’s manual.

The non-profit Car Care Council has a free 80-page Car Care Guide for motorists that features several pages of information on the functionality of belts and when to replace them. Available in English and Spanish, the popular guide uses easy-to-understand everyday language rather than technical automotive jargon, fits easily in a glove box and can be ordered by visiting 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 free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

SOURCE Car Care Council

Read more at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/avoid-a-breakdown-with-a-belt-check-300030056.html

Six Quick Tips for Sub-Zero Winter Driving

When it comes to winter car care, many motorists think of antifreeze and batteries, but vehicles need extra attention when temperatures drop below zero. The non-profit Car Care Council offers six quick tips to help your vehicle perform at its best during cold weather months.

1) Keep the gas tank at least half full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.

2) Check the tire pressure, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure when temperatures drop. Consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.

3) Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.

4) Allow your car a little more time to warm up when temperatures are below freezing so that the oil in the engine and transmission circulate and get warm.

5) Change to low-viscosity oil in winter as it will flow more easily between moving parts when it is cold. Drivers in sub-zero temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.

6) Consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades if you live in a place with especially harsh winter conditions.

“Sub-zero temperatures can have a real impact on your vehicle,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling, and very cold temperatures reduce battery power. If you haven’t had your vehicle checked recently, a thorough vehicle inspection is a good idea so you can avoid the aggravation and unexpected cost of a breakdown in freezing weather.”

As a precaution, motorists should be sure their vehicle is stocked with an emergency kit containing an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

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 http://www.carcare.org.

As read on: http://www.carcare.org/2015/01/six-quick-tips-sub-zero-winter-driving/

When motorcycle accidents happen, what can you do to be better prepared?

Okay, so no one really wants to talk about the BIG “what if I get in an accident?” But the truth is accidents happen and being prepared will only make the “worst case scenario” less hectic and worrisome.

Beyond the basics of wearing protective clothing, maintaining your motorcycle etc., there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting through such an ordeal. One of the first things is to provide information to anyone who would respond to motorcycle accidents. Print out all your medical information including a brief history, and ongoing medical issues, medications you are on, etc and keep that information on you or your bike. We keep a red colored list attached to our jackets with all that info on it. Check with your doctor’s office or local hospital for wallet size information cards that you can use.

There are a number of things you can do to make things easier on you and your loved ones in the case of a motorcycle accident. I call them accident survival techniques. These are very simple and easy things to do which do not take a lot of money or time. It’s all in the planning.

We also should talk about insurance at this point. Make sure you have full coverage insurance that covers you, your bike, and accessories. Many of us attach additional “toys” on our bikes from audio and communication devices to lights and custom paint jobs. The best way to cover your bike is to take it to an appraiser, some motorcycle dealers will do this, and have it appraised. Then cover it for the appraised amount. Either way, make sure it’s up to date.

A road side assistance plan is another good thing to have. Make sure it’s with a company that specializes in motorcycles. The last thing you need is to have some yahoo that doesn’t know how to tie down a bike show up. Also as I’ve stated in trip planning, call ahead for emergency service information in the national parks, commercial vehicles cannot enter many parks and the cost to have your bike towed can be astronomical!

At the minimum, a good first aid kit and some training in CPR. Just some simple things that anyone can do to help be prepared for whatever might happen.

The bottom line is, prepare for the worst so you can enjoy all of your trip. Chances are everything will go just fine. Talking about it before hand, preparing for emergencies and making sure all your info and insurances are up to date will take a lot of the stress off and allow you to enjoy your trip that much more.