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Top 10 Most Common Vehicle Repairs

Changing the oil and oil filter, replacing wiper blades and air filters, and scheduled maintenance top the list of the 10 most common vehicle repairs of 2017.

According to research conducted by IMR Inc., an industry leader in automotive research, the top 10 most common vehicle repairs performed by vehicle owners and their trusted repair shops are:

  1. Oil/oil filter changed
  2. Wiper blades replacement
  3. Replace air filter
  4. Scheduled maintenance
  5. New tires
  6. Battery replacement
  7. Brake work
  8. Antifreeze added
  9. Engine tune-up
  10. Wheels aligned/balanced

“We thank IMR for sharing this important and informative data with the Car Care Council,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “With scheduled maintenance toward the top of the list, these findings are a sign that more motorists understand the importance of routine vehicle maintenance and are taking steps to ensure the safety and dependability of their vehicles.”

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.

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Source: Car Care

Six Quick Tips for Bomb Cyclone Winter Driving

When it comes to winter car care, many motorists think of antifreeze and batteries, but vehicles need extra attention in winter, especially when a bomb cyclone hits and temperatures drop.

“Most people never heard of ‘bombogenesis” until heavy snow and dangerous cold recently hit many areas of the country, including several states that usually don’t experience this type of severe weather,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Making sure your vehicle is properly prepared for the elements will help you avoid the aggravation of an unplanned road emergency.”

The non-profit Car Care Council offers six quick tips to help your vehicle perform at its best during cold weather months.

  • Keep the gas tank at least half full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
  • 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.
  • Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades if you live in a place with especially harsh winter conditions.

Drivers should stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication. The Car Care Council also recommends a thorough vehicle inspection by a trusted professional service technician as winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.

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 www.carcare.org.

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Source: Car Care

Six-Point Vehicle Check: A Gift that Keeps on Giving

A six-point vehicle check is a gift that will keep on giving, both in better vehicle performance and fewer unexpected repairs this winter, says the Car Care Council.

“Why not wrap up the holiday season with a gift for you and your car? Inspecting six key systems ahead of time can save you the headaches and cost of an emergency breakdown later,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Regular vehicle maintenance is always more convenient when you’re doing it on your own schedule. By taking a few easy preventive maintenance steps now, you can have more confidence when driving in severe winter weather.”

The Car Care Council recommends a six-point vehicle check before the New Year arrives:

  1. Battery – Keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
  2. Antifreeze – Antifreeze (coolant) should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles. As a reminder, do not add 100 percent antifreeze as full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed with water.
  3. Brakes – Have the brake system checked. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
  4. Tires – Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.
  5. Oil – Be diligent about changing the oil at recommended intervals and check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time. Consider changing to low-viscosity oil in winter, as it will flow more easily between moving parts when cold. In sub-zero driving temperatures, drop oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.
  6. Wiper Blades – Cold weather can affect the life of windshield wipers, making the rubber hard and brittle and increasing the potential for cracks. Wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield should be replaced. Some manufacturers offer special winter blades that have a rubber boot covering the arm assembly to keep snow and ice out. When changing the blades, have the windshield wiper system nozzles cleaned and adjusted if necessary, and check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir.

During the winter, the Car Care Council recommends keeping your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full as that decreases the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Finally, if you’re due for a tune-up, consider having it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.

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 Car Care Guide, visit www.carcare.org

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Source: Car Care

As Temperatures Drop, Check Tire Pressure More Often

You may notice when the weather turns colder, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light on your dashboard lights up more frequently. The Car Care Council recommends checking your tire pressure regularly during the winter to help keep the TPMS light off and your vehicle safe.

“It’s typical at this time of year for motorists to get TPMS warnings and then get worried about their tires,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Often drivers will see this in the morning when it’s coldest. If the temperature warms, the light could turn off but it’s likely that tires will still be a few PSI under inflated. This is why it’s important to check tire pressure regularly.”

According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, for every 10 degree drop in temperature, tire pressure decreases one to two pounds per square inch (PSI). Checking the tire pressure is important for vehicle safety, tire life and gas mileage.

Incorrect tire pressure can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every one PSI drop in pressure of all four tires and improve fuel efficiency by up to 3.3 percent when the correct tire pressure is maintained.

“Tire pressure should be checked at least monthly. It is important to note that newer cars with tire pressure monitoring systems may not alert you until the tire is significantly under-inflated, so you may want to check it more frequently,” said White. “It is important to check tire pressure whenever there is a significant weather change and more often during the winter 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 www.carcare.org.

The post As Temperatures Drop, Check Tire Pressure More Often appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Are Your Headlights Ready for Your Next Road Trip?

By Brian Noble, Marketing Manager at SYLVANIA Automotive

Most drivers need to do at least some driving at night, and with the days getting shorter, the time spent behind the wheel during darker hours will surely increase. While properly functioning and properly aimed headlights are always important, this season, they’re necessary.

Whether on a road trip or driving around town, drivers should recognize that when the sun goes down risks on the road go up. The reason for this is that driver vision is compromised at night, negatively impacting depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision. According to a 2016 survey from SYLVANIA Automotive, at night, 28 percent of motorists have difficulty seeing hazards and 62 percent of drivers try to avoid driving.

Before hitting the road, drivers should be sure their vehicle is ready for nighttime driving. The following headlight maintenance tips will help travelers better prepare for the open road ahead, and improve vehicle safety year-round.

Headlight Maintenance 101

  • Replace before burnout: Headlights can dim over time, so replacement before burnout is suggested. Vehicles with burned-out headlights often can be found traveling on dark roads, posing a risk to both the driver, and others on the road. If a vehicle owner cannot remember the last time headlights were changed, it’s probably time to replace them.
  • Always swap in pairs: It’s very important to replace headlights in pairs. Since headlights dim over time, a new bulb paired with an old bulb creates an uneven field of vision for drivers, which can be a major distraction on the road.
  •  Upgrade: It’s no secret – better headlights can help increase further downroad visibility, which in turn can help nighttime drivers feel safer and more secure. If there is an object on the road, headlights help drivers react sooner. Many consumers don’t realize they have options when it comes to headlights, but they do. And any upgrade above a basic headlight replacement helps to create a better, safer experience for the driver. Look for headlights that offer greater downroad visibility with a whiter light for maximum clarity. Whiter light improves contrast, allowing a driver to better distinguish objects on the side of the road.
  • Consider DIY: Changing a vehicle’s headlight bulb is a simple process that doesn’t require a mechanic or service professional. Various online guides and resources exist to help consumers swap out headlight bulbs in a matter of minutes. Consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual for bulb/headlight replacement procedures, needed tools and safety precautions. Always wear safety glasses and work gloves as well.
  •  Restoration as an option: The average age of vehicles on the road today is 11 years old. Many of these vehicles have faded, cloudy plastic headlight lenses. This cloudiness, caused by degradation from the sun’s bright rays, reduces and diffuses the light going through the lenses, making it difficult to see when driving in the dark. Consider DIY restoration kits that restore clarity and remove the hazy yellow appearance on headlight lenses. These kits also provide a UV Block Clear Coat, which protects headlights from UV ray damage. A good restoration kit can enable up to three times more light to shine on the road from behind the same, once cloudy, headlight lens.
  • Properly aim your headlights: It’s important to properly align and aim your headlights to ensure that the light is projecting down the road, and not into the eyes of oncoming drivers. If your headlights’ aim is off, it can drastically decrease nighttime visibility. This simple DIY fix can make a tremendous difference and improve safety.

It’s important to remember that headlights are an active safety item and are often a driver’s first line of defense on the road. Like other vehicle systems – brakes, engine, windshield wipers – headlights must be maintained in order to work properly. But what is a relatively inexpensive item to replace provides immeasurable safety benefits to the driver, passengers and others on the road.

 

The post Are Your Headlights Ready for Your Next Road Trip? appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Avoid Damaging New Fuel Pump and Improve Engine Performance with a Clean Gas Tank

Motorists may not know much about their fuel pump but over the life of owning a vehicle, it will probably need to be replaced. One area that often gets overlooked when putting in a new fuel pump is cleaning the gas tank. The Car Care Council recommends that when it comes time to replace your fuel pump, that you have your gas tank cleaned thoroughly to avoid damaging your replacement fuel pump. A clean fuel tank can also ensure maximum engine performance and fuel efficiency.

“While a vehicle’s fuel pump is not a routine maintenance item, it will likely need to be replaced at some point while you own a car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Before replacing a defective fuel pump with a new one, the fuel tank should be properly cleaned to clear old debris, dirt and contaminants that have accumulated at the bottom of the tank.”

Whether performed by a professional service technician, or you do it yourself, follow this 10-step process to clean your gas tank properly and avoid damaging your new fuel pump:

  1. Drain fuel tank into an approved container.
  2. Clean rust and debris from the top of the fuel tank.
  3. Remove fuel pump.
  4. Swirl gas tank. Pour out remaining gas and debris.
  5. Clean the tank interior with a low-suds soap and water mixture.
  6. Swirl cleaning solution inside tank.
  7. Drain tank and dry with compressed air.
  8. Wipe out tank with lint-free towel.
  9. Visually inspect tank. Replace tank if damaged
  10. Confirm tank is completely dry (may take approximately 30 minutes).

“The original fuel pump that came with your vehicle when you purchased it went into a clean gas tank so it only makes sense to put your replacement fuel pump into a clean gas tank as well,” said White. “Cleaning the gas tank will not only improve engine performance, but it will also lead to better fuel economy so you pay less at the pump – a goal of most vehicle owners.”

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.

The post Avoid Damaging New Fuel Pump and Improve Engine Performance with a Clean Gas Tank appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Improve Engine Performance, Gas Mileage with a Clean Gas Tank

Motorists are always looking for ways to save money and improve gas mileage. One area that often gets overlooked is a clean fuel tank. When it comes time to replace your fuel pump, the Car Care Council suggests that you clean your gas tank to ensure maximum engine performance and fuel efficiency.

“While a vehicle’s fuel pump is not a routine maintenance item, it will likely need to be replaced at some point while you own a car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Before replacing a defective fuel pump with a new one, the fuel tank should be properly cleaned to clear old debris, dirt and contaminants that have accumulated at the bottom of the tank.”

Whether performed by a professional service technician, or you do it yourself, follow this 10-step process to clean your gas tank properly.

  1. Drain fuel tank into an approved container.
  2. Clean rust and debris from the top of the fuel tank.
  3. Remove fuel pump.
  4. Swirl gas tank. Pour out remaining gas and debris.
  5. Clean the tank interior with a low-suds soap and water mixture.
  6. Swirl cleaning solution inside tank.
  7. Drain tank and dry with compressed air.
  8. Wipe out tank with lint-free towel.
  9. Visually inspect tank. Replace tank if damaged
  10. Confirm tank is completely dry (may take approximately 30 minutes).

“The original fuel pump that came with your vehicle when you purchased it went into a clean gas tank so it only makes sense to put your replacement fuel pump into a clean gas tank as well,” said White. “Cleaning the gas tank will not only improve engine performance, but it will also lead to better fuel economy so you pay less at the pump – a goal of most vehicle owners.”

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.

The post Improve Engine Performance, Gas Mileage with a Clean Gas Tank appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle

Following one of the worst hurricane seasons in years and record-setting rainfall in many areas of the country, flooding has taken its toll on vehicles. It is important for those considering the purchase of a used vehicle to be car care aware and check for signs of water intrusion or contamination, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“Purchasing a used vehicle and later learning it has been flood damaged can be very problematic and lead to costly issues down the road. Worst yet, these vehicles can be unhealthy to occupy because of mold and bacteria growing in the carpet and ventilation system,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council and the Car Care Professionals Network (CCPN), a network of professional automotive service providers, say it all comes down to how much water the vehicle took in and where it can be reached and together recommend taking the following steps to determine if a vehicle has been flood damaged:

  • Take the sniff test. Close all the windows and doors and let the car sit for about five minutes then crack open a door and sniff. Mildew and mold have very distinctive smells and it doesn’t take long for that smell to present itself.
  • Try the touch test. Get some paper towels and press them against the low spots in the carpet. The paper towels will draw the moisture out and reveal if the carpet is wet under the surface. Some carpets can be several inches thick to insulate from heat and sound. If the paper towel becomes wet it could mean water has gotten into the car.
  • Investigate the interior. Look under the seats and dash for corrosion and rust and look for exposed metal that is untreated. There are metal springs under the front seats that are usually not painted. If they are rusted that is a sign the interior has been wet. Look for mud and debris in places it does not belong.
  • Inspect the instrument panel. Turn on the key and perform a bulb test. Make sure every bulb lights up. If a system has an issue, removing the warning bulb can hide it. Many times vehicles that have flooded have malfunctions in their anti-brake and air bag systems. Ensuring the light comes on and then goes out after the bulb test is an indicator that the system is on and has no active faults.
  • Take it to a professional. Let a service and repair technician inspect your vehicle. They can raise the car and look underneath to see if there is any mud, sticks or rocks in the suspension. A professional can check the oil in the differentials to make sure they contain no water in them. Spend a few dollars to have it looked over to give you piece of mind.

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.

The post How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Motorists Can Celebrate Fall Car Care Month in Three Easy Steps

October is Fall Car Care Month, the ideal time of the year to pay special attention to that vehicle you depend on so much to get you where you are going, says the Car Care Council.

“Celebrating Fall Car Care Month with some basic service is as easy as one, two, three and it doesn’t have to take much time or money,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “In fact, many repair facilities and auto parts stores offer special pricing and promotions during the month of October, so this is the perfect time to give your vehicle a little TLC.”

The non-profit Car Care Council suggests following three easy steps to help keep your vehicle running safely, dependably and efficiently.

  1. Schedule a vehicle inspection with your favorite professional service technician or do it yourself to make sure your vehicle is road ready for the winter months ahead.
  2. Order a free copy of 80-page Car Care Guide at carcare.org/car-care-guide. The guide is perfect for the glove box and is a valuable reference for every car owner.
  3. Sign up for the free custom service schedule at carcare.org/custom-service-schedule. With email reminders, the schedule will help you remember to keep car care on track.

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 www.carcare.org.

The post Motorists Can Celebrate Fall Car Care Month in Three Easy Steps appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Celebrate Fall Car Care Month in Five Minutes or Less

Fall Car Care Month in October is right around the corner and it’s not too soon to think about ways to leverage the Car Care Council’s national consumer education campaign to help drive business to your repair shop.

“Supporting Fall Car Care Month doesn’t have to take a lot of time,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Five minutes is all it takes to remind your customers of the safety and economic benefits of auto care.”

The non-profit Car Care Council suggests five quick and easy ways to leverage Fall Car Care Month in under five minutes:

  1. Tailor your company’s on-hold message and download a free Fall Car Care Month banner to add to your shop’s website by visiting http://www.carcare.org/industry-participants/web-banners/.
  2. Suggest your customers sign up for the council’s free customized service schedule and e-mail service at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-service-schedules/custom-service-schedule/.
  3. Send your customers to www.carcare.org/car-care-guide to view the free digital Car Care Guide, available in English and Spanish, and order a free printed copy for their glove compartment.
  4. Link to useful car care tips from your website at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-resource/car-care-tips/ or print them and leave them out for customers to read while they are waiting for service to be performed.
  5. Hang Fall Car Care Month signs. Create your own or download Fall Car Care Month poster artwork at http://www.carcare.org/industry-tool-box/car-care-month-posters/.

Repair shops that can devote more time to leverage the benefits of Fall Car Care Month may consider offering free vehicle inspections or hosting a community car care event, checking components on customers’ vehicles that typically get overlooked, including tires, air filters, lubricants and fluids, belts and hoses, battery cables and lights.

“Offering free vehicle inspections and hosting community car care events are time well spent, giving you a chance to educate consumers on how much of their vehicle’s maintenance is going unchecked and helping to drive traffic to your business,” White said.

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 www.carcare.org.

The post Celebrate Fall Car Care Month in Five Minutes or Less appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care