October is Fall Car Care Month

September 26, 2016

As autumn descends, the Car Care Council would like to remind motorists of the many benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. October is Fall Car Care Month and a great opportunity to make sure that your vehicle is ready for winter and up-to-date on all maintenance.

Taking time out to check on your vehicle’s condition is an important part of taking care of your second largest investment. Results of vehicle check-ups at community car care events across the country last year revealed that 80 percent of vehicles need service or parts.

“Small steps that motorists take today can go a long way toward improving the safety and reliability of their vehicles,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Regular car care can also help avoid costly repairs down the road, saving both time and money.”

In celebration of Fall Car Care month, many shops across the country will be holding free vehicle check-up events. To see if an event is being held near you, visit the Event Finder on the Car Care Council’s Web site at http://www.carcare.org/find-an-event.

Another way to celebrate Fall Car Care Month without even leaving home is to visit the Car Care Council’s free Car Care Guide online at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-guide. The guide includes information on service interval schedules, questions to ask your technician and how to increase your vehicle’s fuel economy to save money on gas.

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 more information or to receive a copy of the council’s new Car Care Guide for motorists, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Happy Fall! Time to Think About Your Coolant

September 12, 2016

It’s the beginning of fall, and time to consider your coolant.

This is a good time to think about your engine cooling system. Regular inspections and pressure tests of your cooling system are of utmost importance, as is good maintenance by following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended coolant change intervals.

As time passes, the protective anti-corrosive additives in the antifreeze break down and lose their effectiveness. But antifreeze has two other very important jobs as well:

• It is used to decrease the temperature at which the coolant freezes.

• It is used to raise the temperature at which the coolant will begin to boil.

It is also very important that the proper ratio of water to antifreeze is always maintained. Unless specified otherwise by the vehicle manufacturer, the coolant in most vehicles should consist of a mixture of 50% water and 50% antifreeze before being added to the cooling system. This 50/50 solution not only prevents freezing, but also preserves proper cooling properties.

Also concerning the antifreeze to water mixture ratio: adding more antifreeze to the mix (once again, unless otherwise specified by the vehicle manufacturer) to increase its percentage in the mixture is not better. Generally speaking, after the ratio exceeds more than about 65% antifreeze to 35% water, freeze protection can actually diminish, but even worse, heat dissipation can radically decrease, since the water is the primary substance used for this purpose. Antifreeze itself actually has fairly poor heat transfer characteristics. Having too much antifreeze in the mixture can actually cause engine overheating.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org or visit http://bit.ly/cf7az8 to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society repair shop in your area. Visit http://bit.ly/9FxwTh to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

Keep Your Cool in Hot Summer Cars

July 29, 2016

When it’s hot outside, one of the last places you want to be is sitting in traffic without a properly functioning air conditioning (A/C) system. To help avoid this uncomfortable situation, the Car Care Council recommends having your A/C system checked annually to make sure it is functioning at its peak performance level when the temperatures are soaring.

“Making sure your A/C system is working properly will give you the peace of mind knowing that your vehicle will keep you cool and safe when you hit the road this summer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Not only are high temperatures harmful to the body with prolonged exposure, but they can provide unnecessary wear and tear on a vehicle.”

A vehicle’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system (HVAC) keeps the interior cabin comfortable in any season by providing the right temperature and humidity level. Typical A/C service consists of the following steps:

•Service technician visually inspects hoses, lines, seals and other components for leaks as well as inspect the drive belt for cracks or damage.

•Technician checks pressures to test operation, refrigerant charge and outlet temperatures.

•If the system is found to be low on refrigerant, a leak test is performed to find the source of the leak. Keep in mind that if your vehicle is leaking refrigerant, it is damaging the ozone layer.

•Refrigerant may be added if necessary to “top off” the system, although some states do not allow “topping off.”

•A technician may also check for evidence of refrigerant cross-contamination, which is the mixing of refrigerants.

•A/C service should also include a check of the compressor’s drive belt and tension.

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 more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

CDC Reports Asthma Cases On The Rise; Your Vehicle’s Cabin Air Filter Can Help

July 6, 2016

A study released recently by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of asthma cases in the U.S. is on the rise. Nearly ten percent of children and eight percent of the U.S. population at large are suffering from this potentially life-threatening disease. For those among us who confront this challenge on a daily basis, a clean and dust-free environment is imperative – whether it is in our homes, our offices … or even our cars.

While there are filters that purify the air inside homes and office buildings, many are surprised to learn that there are cabin air filters that are designed to keep the air inside our vehicles clean and fresh. With some two and a half million asthma sufferers, and millions more enduring allergy symptoms at this time of year, car owners and drivers should be aware that it’s very likely that their vehicle came factory-equipped with a filter that can remove allergens and particulates from the air that is being breathed in by the occupants.

“A cabin air filter is a simple device that fulfills an important function, especially when driving with the windows rolled up when the A/C or heating is turned on,” said Kevin O’Dowd, Director of Marketing & Communications for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters, manufacturer and supplier of automotive filters to the North American aftermarket. “A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can actually cause the air inside the vehicle’s interior to be six times more polluted than the air outside.”

According to O’Dowd, “Replacing your vehicle’s cabin air filter regularly provides you with one more condition that can be controlled, especially when someone’s health is compromised. We are trying to educate motorists so they know their car has such a filter and remember to change it once each year.”

Changing the cabin air filter regularly in order to properly clean the air in the passenger compartment is especially important now that pollen is at its worst and motorists are increasingly driving with windows closed and the air conditioning on.

Marketed under the BreatheEasy brand, a new Purolator cabin air filter can capture and hold particles as small as a micron. A micron is a millionth of a meter. By way of comparison, a strand of human hair measures 30-200 microns, a grain of salt is 40-100 microns, bacteria is 0.2-20 microns, pollen is 10-80 microns and soot is 0.02-0.7 microns. Purolator BreatheEasy cabin air filters are electrostatically charged so they capture and retain small particles from entering your car. Consumers should look for this feature to ensure they are getting the most benefit for the filter

“A quality replacement cabin air filter can capture dirt, dust, pollen, fungus, bacteria, pet dander, mold spores, and more,” said O’Dowd. “All these are potentially unhealthy, even for people who are not allergic or asthmatic. Nobody wants to breathe these things, and automakers have designed systems to safely capture them. All the motorist need do is replace the filter every 12,000 to 18,000 miles or as recommended in the vehicle owner’s manual.”

Replacement filters are inexpensive and, in most cases, easily changed by the vehicle owner – even by those who are not mechanically inclined. In some cases, cabin air filters can be replaced in as little as five minutes. Cabin air filters are often located under or behind the vehicle’s glove box, usually with easy access. Most BreatheEasy cabin air filters include well-illustrated, vehicle-specific, step-by-step instructions for replacement. Even before purchasing a replacement filter, motorists can check the procedure for their specific vehicle by visiting http://www.BreatheEasyCabinFilters.com. This Web site also includes a series of informative videos that demonstrate the importance and ease of replacing cabin air filters.

“While breathing unhealthy air is simply inconvenient for some, it can be far more hazardous to the two and a half million asthma sufferers in the U.S,” said O’Dowd. “Fortunately safe and secure protection is both available and affordable.”

Also, available to everyone are the Purolator PROs—a team of experts who will answer any filter-related question from anyone, free of charge, via personal e-mail. Purolator PROs can be contacted through the Purolator Web site at http://www.purolatorautofilters.net. The Web site also includes a wealth of information on every type of automotive filter, including online part number look up, as well special deals and promotions.

For additional articles like this go to the Car Care News Service website.

Dad’s “Automotive Type” Helps Decide Father’s Day Gift

June 9, 2016

There are two types of fathers, those who work on their cars and those who don’t. Whether your dad is a do-it-yourselfer (DIY) or a Do-It-For-Me type (DIFM), consider an automotive gift for dad this Father’s Day.

Sixty-nine percent of male drivers work on their car, truck, mini van or SUV, according to the Car Care Council. Whether it’s light maintenance, like changing the oil and replacing the wiper blades, or heavier projects, such as replacing brakes, most dads enjoy taking care of their vehicles. Automotive accessories, tools, parts and products make ideal Father’s Day gifts.

“If Dad’s a do-it-yourselfer, a gift certificate from the local auto parts store would be appropriate,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “If he’s a do-it-for me, think about a gift certificate for an oil change or other service at his favorite repair shop.”

Everyone loves a clean car, so offer to clean and polish Dad’s vehicle yourself. Remember to use automotive washes and waxes, not dishwashing detergent from under the kitchen sink. This can harm the vehicle’s finish.

Visit http://www.carcarenewsservice.org for more content like this.

Heat, Not Cold, Shortens Battery Life

June 1, 2016

Here’s a hot tip about car batteries: Warm weather is the time for major car-battery problems. Heat, not cold, shortens battery life, says the Car Care Council. The average life of a battery is three and a half years, and even shorter in warmer climates.

Excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate. That can mean a slow death for a battery.

Statistics from the National Car Care Month inspection campaign show battery cables, clamps and terminals needed maintenance in 13 percent of the vehicles and seven percent of the batteries were not properly held down.

To get the most life out of a battery, the Car Care Council suggests the following:
•Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging.

•If your battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it regularly, especially in hot weather. Add distilled water when necessary.

•Always replace a battery with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified.

•Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.

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.

You can get a free service interval schedule at http://www.carcare.org.

Learn more at http://www.carcarenewsservice.org

Is Your Vehicle Safe for Memorial Day Travel?

May 23, 2016

With the Memorial Day Holiday weekend upon us and the summer vacation season fast approaching; there is no better time to “Be Car Care Aware” about your vehicle. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 13,000 Americans are killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. A portion of these deaths can be directly attributed to unperformed vehicle maintenance as each year neglected maintenance leads to over 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.

“Proper car care is important at all times, but is particularly critical during the holiday travel seasons,” says Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “When vehicle maintenance is put off too long, you’re potentially putting your safety, as well as the safety of your passengers and other drivers, in jeopardy.”

With American drivers spending 11% more time on the road this year, according to a study from the Surface Transportation Policy Project, having a safe car and driving safely are both high priorities as we head into summer. Car trouble, usually due to neglected maintenance, brings an abrupt end to vacation plans and can also lead to dangerous results.

This scenario usually can be avoided with a pre-vacation inspection. This “physical” for your automobile should address the following systems:
•Cooling
•Braking
•Emission
•Steering/suspension
•Fuel
•Electrical and ignition

In addition, an evaluation of the following should be performed: engine performance, tires/wheels, A.C./heater/defroster, instruments/gages, windshield wipers, horns/lights/mirrors, seat belts and the car’s body, inside and out.

Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one’s own technician who knows the vehicle.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, educating consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and repair. For more information and to download your free copy of the Service Interval Schedule, visit http://www.carcare.org.

For additional information visit Car Care News Service.

An Automotive Gift for Mother’s Day? You Bet!

April 27, 2016

It’s time to be seriously thinking about Mother’s Day. A great place to look for useful ideas is her driver’s seat, especially if Mom spends a lot of time behind the wheel.

Her vehicle is her home away from home and gifts that enhance her enjoyment of that second home are likely to be appreciated, suggests Rich White, spokesperson for the Car Care Council. “We tend to gravitate toward gifts like jewelry, a framed photo or flowers,” he says. “But why not break from the traditional and dress up her car? Maybe she’s always wanted a sunroof or a cool sound system. Her wish could come true, with the help of your local auto specialty shop or service dealer.”

White suggests that, beyond the obvious gifts such as seat covers or floor mats, Mom might appreciate having her damaged steering wheel replaced with one that’s stylish, possibly even leather covered. A sun-damaged and faded dash could be repaired, replaced, or recovered to upgrade the interior. How about a GPS navigation system, remote starter, or satellite radio?

“Security devices such as a remote keyless entry or alarm systems are also popular add-ons,” says White, “as are custom wheels or wheel covers. Most women are interested in the safety and appearance accessories as opposed to those, which are performance related. Gifts can be inexpensive. Net shopping bags, that hook on back of the driver’s seat, are great gift items too. Just look around”

Right on the heels of Mother’s Day, of course, is Father’s Day, with additional categories of gifts to consider: special tools, custom rims, window tinting, or sound system enhancements, to mention a few. “Gifts for vehicles are always well received and the variety of innovative products never stops growing” adds White.

For more ideas and prices visit your auto supply store, service dealer, or specialty shop.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, educating consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and repair. For more information visit http://www.carcare.org.

Learn more on our website at: http://www.carcarenewsservice.org/article/automotive-gift-mothers-day-you-bet

April 22nd is Earth Day, but You Can Celebrate All Year with These “Green” Auto Tips

April 18, 2016

By changing a few habits, motorists can do their part in helping the environment, say the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE recommends regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits as two easy-to-implement strategies. What’s more, improved automotive habits will help your vehicle last longer and command a better resale price.

The following tips from ASE can put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care:

•Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the owner’s manual.

•Don’t ignore that ‘Service Engine’ light. Today’s vehicles have much cleaner tailpipe emissions that they did 30 years ago, but a poorly running engine or faulty exhaust system will cause your vehicle to pollute much more than it would otherwise.

•Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. Not only will you reduce the engine’s effort and, thus, gasoline consumption, your tires will last longer too, saving you money and easing the burden at recycling centers.

•Have your vehicle’s air conditioner serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older air conditioners contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service.

•Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations. Both of these habits guzzle gas. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Consolidate daily errands to one trip to eliminate unnecessary driving.

•Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight equals better gas mileage. Remove that roof-top luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag, too.

•If you do your own repairs, properly dispose of engine fluids and batteries. Some repair facilities accept these items from consumer. You can also contact local government for hazardous material drop-off/recycling stations. Remember too that improperly disposed fluids such as antifreeze can harm pets and wildlife.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was founded to improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. More than 360,000 automotive service professionals hold current ASE certifications. They work at all types of facilities, from new car dealerships, to national chains, independent repair shops, fleets, parts stores, and more. There employers often display the blue and white ASE sign, while the technicians wear shoulder insignia or lapel pins identifying himself or herself as ASE certified.

Visit http://www.ase.com for more information and seasonal car care tips.

Locate this story directly on our website at: http://www.carcarenewsservice.org/article/april-22nd-earth-day-you-can-celebrate-all-year-these-green-auto-tips

April is National Car Care Month – Basic Maintenance Helps Avoid Costly Repairs Down the Road

March 23, 2016

National Car Care Month in April is the time of year to give your car some extra attention. Basic maintenance can go a long way toward improving the safety and dependability of your vehicle, plus it helps avoid costly repairs down the road.

“Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Chances are if you own a car, it needs some work. National Car Care Month in April is the perfect time to focus on your vehicle’s maintenance needs.”

Results of community car care events held throughout the country last year show that most consumers are neglecting their cars, with seven out of 10 vehicles failing at least one component of the vehicle inspection process. (For a complete list of results, visit http://www.carcare.org

“These results show that the majority of vehicle owners could save money by being more proactive when it comes to their vehicle,” White said. “Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, make sure your car is ready for the spring and summer travel season.”

The Car Care Council recommends 10 basic maintenance procedures to keep your car operating at its best:

•Check the oil, filters and fluids. Oil should be checked at every fill-up and changed per the owner’s manual recommended intervals. Brake, transmission, power steering, coolant and windshield washer fluids should also be checked regularly. Your car’s filters, including those for the transmission, fuel system and interior ventilation, need regular inspection and replacement.

•Inspect hoses at each oil change and have them replaced when leaking, brittle, cracked, rusted, swollen or restricted. Check V-belts and serpentine belts for looseness and condition, and have them replaced when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Typically replace the timing belt between 60,000 and 90,000 miles or the interval specified in the owner’s manual to avoid a breakdown or serious engine damage.

•Check the engine brake system every year and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.

•Check that the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free. The battery should be securely mounted. If it is three years old or more, the battery should be tested and replaced if necessary.

•Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.

•Schedule a tune-up that will help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.

•Check the car’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting.

•Inspect the steering and suspension system annually, including shock absorbers and struts, and chassis parts, such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.

•Check the pressure of all tires, including the spare, at least once a month. Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and cuts and bruises along the sidewalls. Have your car’s alignment checked at least annually to reduce tire wear and improve fuel economy and handling.

•Test exterior and interior lights and have bulbs that are not working checked immediately. Replace windshield wiper blades every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering for optimum wiping performance and safety.