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March, 2015

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April is National Car Care Month: Time to Spring for Vehicle Maintenance

Slide1Spring is here and it is time to give your car some extra attention, says the non-profit Car Care Council. Results of vehicle inspections held at community car care events across the country during Car Care Months in April and October 2014 reveal that 84 percent of vehicles need service or parts, up 5 percent from the previous year.

“Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value. These results show that the majority of vehicle owners could save money by being proactive in the maintenance of their second largest investment,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

When checking lubricants and fluids, the three top failure rates were: low washer fluid at 27 percent; low or dirty motor oil at 25 percent; and low, leaky or dirty coolant at 17 percent. Power steering, brake and transmission fluids were also checked, and had failure rates of 13 percent and below.

When checking under the hood, nearly one in five vehicles (18 percent) needed a new air filter and 13 percent had the “check engine” light on. At least one belt was reported as unsatisfactory in 17 percent of the vehicles inspected, and 8 percent required at least one new hose. Battery cables, clamps and terminals needed maintenance in 14 percent of the vehicles inspected, while 9 percent of the batteries were not properly held down.

SD178Approximately 16 percent of vehicles had front windshield wiper failures, and at least 11 percent of vehicles needed lights replaced, including headlights, brake lights and license plate lights. Improperly inflated tires were found on 10 percent of the cars, and 14 percent had worn tread and were in need of replacement.

“Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, National Car Care Month in April is the perfect time to focus on your vehicle’s maintenance needs to make sure it is ready for the upcoming spring and summer travel season,” said White. “Following a routine maintenance program, like the free personalized schedule and e-mail reminder service the Car Care Council offers, can help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.”

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 www.carcare.org.

 

The post April is National Car Care Month: Time to Spring for Vehicle Maintenance appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Potholes: They’re Back and They’re Bad

Potholes have returned, and hitting one with your car can do a real number on tires, wheels, steering and suspension, and alignment. To help determine if hitting a pothole has damaged your vehicle, the Car Care Council reminds you to watch for these warning signs:

  • Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads are indicators that the steering and suspension may have been damaged. The steering and suspension are key safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling. Key components are shocks and/or struts, the steering knuckle, ball joints, the steering rack/box, bearings, seals and hub units and tie rod ends.
  • Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear, are symptoms of an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is important for the lifespan of tires and helps ensure safe handling.
  • Low tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the wheel rim will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible, as tires are the critical connection between your car and the road.

Pothole season- signs to look for“Don’t look now, but you’re probably about to hit another pothole,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “If you’ve hit a pothole, it can be difficult to know if your vehicle has been damaged in the process. Have a professional technician check out the car and make the necessary repairs to ensure safety and reliability.”

Potholes occur when water permeates the pavement – usually through a crack – and softens the soil beneath it, creating a depression in the surface of the street. Many potholes appear during winter and spring months because of freeze-thaw cycles, which accelerate the process. Potholes can also be prevalent in areas with excessive rainfall and flooding.

Join us on social! World Pothole Day is March 25, 2015. #WorldPotholeDay

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 Potholes: They’re Back and They’re Bad appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Avoid a Mid-Trip Breakdown with a Pre-Trip Vehicle Check

Avoid a Mid-Trip BreakdownAfter another brutal winter, many Americans will hit the road to find better weather. If you are planning a road trip to a warm vacation destination, the Car Care Council recommends a pre-trip vehicle check to help you avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles from home.

“Spring break time is finally here. While jumping in the car and heading to a warmer climate may sound like a great idea, don’t forget to make sure your car is road ready before you go,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A pre-trip vehicle check will give you peace of mind because you can take steps to have any needed repairs performed before you go.”

The Car Care Council recommends the following pre-trip checklist before hitting the road:

-Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.

-Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.

-Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.

-Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

-Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.

-Check out the Car Care Council website and order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide for the glove box at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide. This 80-page booklet is available in both English and Spanish.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

The post Avoid a Mid-Trip Breakdown with a Pre-Trip Vehicle Check appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Register Your National Car Care Month Event at www.carcare.org

Map upcoming eventshostThe Car Care Council is promoting 2015 National Car Care Month community car care events via Facebook, Twitter and their website when businesses and aftermarket organizations register their events on the council’s website at http://www.carcare.org/industry-participants/host-an-event/.

“Holding a car care event during National Car Care Month in April is a great way to drive consumers to your business and build positive brand awareness in your community,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “For motorists, the events are the perfect opportunity to make sure their vehicles are running reliably for the spring and summer driving seasons. They also learn how much they can save in the long run through proper vehicle maintenance.”

DSC04520Each year during National Car Care Month, hundreds of community car care events are conducted nationwide by independent repair shops, auto parts stores, vocational schools and other aftermarket organizations.

The council offers an ‘Industry Tool Box’ to help aftermarket companies and organizations to find everything they need to participate or get involved with National Car Care Month in April, from promotional materials to event planning. The tool kit can be found by visiting www.carcareindustry.com.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

The post Register Your National Car Care Month Event at www.carcare.org appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care