Archive for the ‘Environmental Protection’ Category

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.

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.

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.

Caring for Your Car During Summer

June 30, 2015

Summer can be tough on cars, especially during high temperatures when heat can destroy batteries and stress the cooling system and tires. As a precaution, these vehicle components should be checked periodically during summer to help avoid breakdowns and car problems, according to the Car Care Council.

Excessive heat and overcharging shorten the life of a battery. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery.To get the most life out of a battery, the council recommends having the electrical system checked to make sure it is charging at the correct rate. If your car’s battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it often, especially in hot weather and add distilled water if necessary. Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt can become a conductor, which drains battery power. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator and inhibits the current flow.

The cooling system also works harder during hot temperatures to prevent overheating of the engine. To keep the cooling system working effectively, the coolant and distilled water mixture for a vehicle’s radiator should be 50:50. As a reminder, never open a hot radiator cap when checking the coolant level in the reservoir.As a rule of thumb, the coolant should be changed annually on most vehicles. This will keep the cooling system fresh and clean inside, which helps prevent corrosion and assures that the coolant has the proper boiling point and protection. A pressure test, thermostat test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection for leaks and corrosion should also be done annually. Hoses and drive belts should be checked for cracks, bulges or frayed edges.The radiator should be kept clean by periodically using a garden hose and a soft brush to carefully remove bugs, dirt and debris.

Tires also need special care in warmer weather as high temperatures put added stress on them. To maximize tire life and safety, check the tire condition and inflation pressure monthly, and have the tires rotated every 6,000 miles. Summer heat will cause the pressure within a tire to rise, therefore, it’s important to check the pressure when tires are cold. The owner’s manual includes the recommended air pressure for your vehicle’s tires.

“It takes very little time and money to make sure your car runs properly during summer, and although breakdowns happen, they can definitely be minimized by taking a few extra preventive maintenance steps,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The council reminds motorists that the vehicle’s exterior also can be damaged by sunlight, UV radiation, acid rain, salt, dirt and air pollution. To protect the paint and finish, vehicles should be washed weekly and waxed every six months.

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.

How to Tell if Water Has Damaged Your Car

June 15, 2015

With heavy rain pounding many parts of the country, there’s a good chance that you’ll drive through high water that could damage your vehicle. Even though your vehicle may not have been flooded or completely covered in water, the Car Care Council recommends that motorists follow these guidelines to check for damage due to water intrusion or contamination:

  • Check interior carpets, upholstery and door and trim panels for dampness. If they are wet, then the vehicle will need professional attention. If you simply let the carpet dry, it will quickly grow mildew and give off nasty odors. Seat brackets, motors and modules should also be checked for rust and proper operation.
  • Pull the engine oil and transmission fluid dipsticks and differential plug. If the fluid appears milky, diluted, is no longer its original color or is beige in color, then it is likely the pans contain water. The vehicle should be towed to your ASE-certified technician or repair shop. Driving the vehicle with water present may damage the internal parts and require extensive overhaul or repairs. The council reminds motorists that some new synthetic differential fluids may appear to be milky but are not water contaminated. When in doubt, a professional automotive technician should make the evaluation.
  • Check the air filter for water. If it is wet, replace the air filter and change the oil.
  • Check the undercarriage, bumpers, radiator area and frame for mud, grass, dirt, debris and rust. If any of these are present, the vehicle should be washed and cleaned as soon as possible.
  • Have the brake system checked by a professional automotive technician.
  • Check the exterior lights for moisture and water. Replace headlights and bulbs that contain water.
  • Listen for abnormal noises while the engine is running. Make a note of where the noise is coming from and take the vehicle to a professional automotive technician as soon as possible. Pay particular attention to the alternator, serpentine belt, starter, power steering unit, air conditioner and wheel bearings.
  • Inspect the suspension joints and lubricate as necessary. Many newer vehicles are lubricated at the factory for life; however, these joints should be checked for rust.

“It all comes down to how much water the vehicle took in and where it reached,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By being car care aware and following these simple guidelines, you can help minimize the potential for damage to your vehicle.”

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.

Is Your Vehicle Safe for Memorial Day Travel?

May 19, 2015

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.

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

April 7, 2015

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.

Celebrate Earth Day with Your Car

April 16, 2014

The Car Care Council suggests five ways you and your vehicle can help protect the environment on Earth Day and everyday:

•Drive Green – If you have to drive your car on Earth Day, recognize that how your drive has a lot to do with fuel economy. Avoid sudden starts and stops and go the speed limit. Jerky and aggressive driving decreases your miles per gallon (MPG) and increases wear and tear on your vehicle. Minimize unnecessary miles by combining errands in one trip.

•Get a Tune-Up – Regular tune-ups, maintenance and having clean air filters will help your car pollute less and burn less gas. With a proper tune-up, you can save four percent on the cost of gas and up to 40 percent by replacing a faulty oxygen sensor. Simply changing the car’s air filter can improve efficiency by 10 percent.

• Lighten the Load – Get the junk out of the trunk and the stuff out of your car, with the exception of emergency items such as a spare tire, flares and a first-aid kit. Extra items weigh the vehicle down and cause an increase in gas usage.

•Tire Checks – According to the Car Care Council, around two billion gallons of gas each year could be saved if the tires on every American’s car were properly inflated. Optimal tire pressure for your vehicle is listed in the owner’s manual. Tires that are not properly inflated add rolling resistance that makes the engine work harder to move the vehicle. All of this increases fuel costs as much as three to five cents per gallon, and increases the risk of engine damage.

• Gas Caps and Fill-Ups – Check your vehicle’s gas cap. Approximately 17 percent of vehicles on the road have loose, damaged or missing gas caps, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year. Topping off your gas tank when filling up your car can also release harmful vapors into the environment.

“Driving technique and proper vehicle maintenance go a long way toward protecting the environment. Vehicle owners who do their own maintenance should remember to recycle or properly dispose of fluids and other vehicle components, including used motor oil, tires and batteries,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

More information about environmental awareness are included in the popular digital Car Care Guide that can be easily accessed through the council’s Web site at http://www.carcare.org.

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.