Archive for the ‘Car Care News Service’ Category

It’s Hot! Know Your A/C System to Stay Cool

August 6, 2018

When your car’s air conditioning fails, it can be more than a nuisance—it can become a health and safety matter. Most of us first notice an air conditioning problem when the car gets hot and muggy. But those with allergies can be quickly exposed to irritants when the windows are rolled down.

A cool passenger cabin has also been cited as a factor in keeping the driver alert.

Beyond just cooling the car, the vehicle’s air conditioning system is necessary for defogging the inside of the windows. Without it, the occupants can be at risk in bad weather.

The air conditioning system will give many hints that something isn’t right. Unusual noises, poor air flow, or blowing hot air instead of cold are all signs of a problem. Each problem could have different causes, perhaps a broken belt, a component failure, an electrical problem, or loss of the pressurized refrigerant.

It’s always best to take your car to a professional service provider who offers full system service and uses the proper tools to find the problem.

If the refrigerant is leaking, simply adding more won’t fix it! Refrigerant will continue to escape and the loss may cause other expensive damage as well. Why risk it? Additionally, today’s refrigerant (R-134a) is a potent greenhouse gas regulated by the U.S. EPA. Professional service shops are required to recover and recycle the chemical, and it is illegal for anyone to release it into the atmosphere.

The best refrigerant for any car is the one initially installed. It’s important to know that since 1995, no automaker has approved any refrigerant other than R-134a for use in their vehicles A/C systems. Newer cars and trucks use even less refrigerant in newer, more efficient systems. These systems require a precise amount of refrigerant and won’t tolerate mistakes during service. Too little gas in these systems will cause poor cooling and put other, expensive components at risk because there is not enough lubricant circulating. A more common error—overcharging—puts too much refrigerant into the system and risks damage from much higher internal pressures.

The days of just “topping off” a system are gone, and professional repair shops have the tools and the knowledge to diagnose, repair and recharge a failed system.

To learn more about your vehicle’s air conditioning system, visit the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide website at http://www.macsw.org

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

June 6, 2018

There are two types of Fathers…those who work on their own vehicles 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.

69% of male drivers work on their car, truck, minivan 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 own 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.

If he’s a do-it-for-me, think about a gift certificate for 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.

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Is Your Vehicle Safe for Memorial Day Travel?

May 21, 2018

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.

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

May 7, 2018

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 the Car Care Council. We tend to gravitate toward gifts like jewelry, a framed photo or flowers. 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.

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, 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 the 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.

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.

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April is National Car Care Month. Nationwide Inspections Show 80% Failure Rate

March 22, 2018

April is National Car Care Month. Vehicle inspection lanes, conducted throughout the United States by sponsoring organizations and businesses, are part of the automotive aftermarket industry’s ongoing public awareness campaign.

Volunteers across the country conduct these events each year, with a portion of them returning their vehicle inspection forms to the Car Care Council for analysis. The most recent campaign included results from a total of 860 vehicle inspections, nationwide.

National Car Care Month inspection campaign statistics continue to underscore the need for increased consumer education. The potential effects on highway safety, air quality, cost of operation, vehicle performance and vehicle dependability are self-evident from these results.

The vehicle failure rate for at least one part or system was 80%! This figure remained unchanged from the previous two years. This means that 8 out of every 10 vehicles failed at least one component of the vehicle inspection process.

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4C’s of Winter Driving

February 22, 2018

Check:

Lights – Headlights, taillights, turn signals, reverse lights and horn.Antifreeze/ Coolant – Check level and if it’s still good with simple test strips.
Tire Wear – Not just if the no tread but also any sign of uneven wear. It may mean a suspension or alignment problem.
Tire Pressure – Check for the proper pressures in your owners manual or door placard (not the numbers on the side wall). Don’t forget to check your spare tire too! For every 10ºF of outside temperature change – you will lose 1 pound of pressure!
Leaks – Check under the hood and where you park your car for any signs of leaks. These should be repaired as soon as you notice them.
Battery – If you are having trouble starting your car – it may be the battery – have it checked.
Brakes – Does your brake pedal seem a little soft? Is it taking longer to stop your vehicle? Have your brake fluid and brake system checked by a professional. Now is the time – not when it is too late!
Oil Change – Every 3-5000 miles. Check your maintenance section of the owner’s manual. Be sure to get a good quality, name brand oil and oil filter. Check your oil once per month. If it looks dark brown – change it.
Air Filter – Change air filters every 12,000 miles or every 6 months. It’s easy to do it yourself! Be sure to get a quality name brand filter. This will give you better fuel economy and performance.
Squeaks – If your doors or car squeaks, have a professional check it out. It may be something simple like a door hinge and a little needed lubricant.
Tune-up – If your gas mileage seems like it less than it was and your car is running rough – now is the time to have a check up. We recommend using Platinum tipped sparks plugs.

Change:

Winter Wiper Blades – The protective sleeve will help keep the blade on your windshield.
Winter Washer Fluid – De-Icer washer fluid will make your life easier on those real bad days. It has a yellowish color instead of the blue stuff.
Snow tires – Even if you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, winter tires are your safest way to travel in bad weather. They are designed for cold weather driving. All season tires are just that, all seasons in average weather, when the snow is deep and the roads are slippery, winter tires make a real safe difference.

Carry:

Carry these items in your trunk in a box or duffel bag.

Jumper cables – (Jump it- self contained battery and jumper cables) – The safest choice!
Tires Chains – A great item to carry if the roads get icy or the weather gets out of control.
Flashlight with new batteries
Tire inflator
First aid kit
Flare and safety triangle
Protein bars – In case you are stuck and waiting for help.
Bottled water
Snowbrush with ice scraper – Get the best one you can find.
Blanket for every passenger
Cell phone – Inexpensive emergency plans are available.
Road service card – Especially good if you travel out of town.
Maps
Paper towels
Glass cleaner
Extra washer fluid
Work Gloves
Basic tools

Clean:

Clean your vehicle and undercarriage to protect your investment.
Clean and wax your vehicle frequently!
Windshields, back window and side windows, headlights and taillights.
Wiper blades and snow from the top and hood of your car.

The SECRET To A Safe Winter – See and be seen!

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Happily Ever After With Your Car

February 12, 2018

If you want to add more years to the relationship between you and your car, give it a little extra attention this Valentine’s Day in the form of an oil change, tune-up or other loving services to make sure it runs happily ever after. Just a little extra care can lead to a longer life for your car.

There’s no debating the value of preventive maintenance to keep your car running efficiently.By giving your vehicle a little more attention now, you’ll avoid the heartbreak and unexpected expense of car trouble down the road.

The Car Care Council recommends you treat your car to regular care this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  • Schedule a tune-up annually to optimize your car’s performance. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy and produces the lowest level of emissions.
  • Change the oil and filter per the owner’s manual. Periodic oil and filter changes keep your engine clean on the inside.
  • Check the tire pressure monthly, including the spare. Your car’s tires affect its ride, handling, traction and safety.
  • Have the alignment checked annually. Potholes and other road conditions, as well as normal wear, can take their toll on your car’s steering and suspension. A wheel alignment reduces tire wear, improves fuel economy and handling, and increases driving enjoyment and safety.
  • Inspect the windshield wipers and lights on the car. Lights and wipers play a major role in safe driving, and they are normal wear items that need periodic replacement.

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.

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