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While Halloween is a scary time of year, vehicle owners don’t need to be spooked about basic car care. The non-profit Car Care Council recommends motorists follow a preventative vehicle maintenance plan to help take away the fear of unexpected breakdowns and frightening repair costs.
“Getting an oil change should never be scary; having wipers replaced should not be horrifying; and asking a professional automotive technician questions should not make someone shake in fear,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “With a quick visit to www.carcare.org, motorists will find free online tools from the Car Care Council to help take the fear out of auto care.”
The Car Care Council’s online custom service schedule and email reminder service can help car owners be more responsible and remember to include auto care in their busy schedules. This easy-to-use resource is free-of-charge and can be personalized to help make auto care more convenient and economical. The council also has a general service schedule that can be printed and followed. Drivers should be sure to consult their vehicle owner’s manual for specific recommendations by the carmaker.
Motorists can order a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide. Available in English and Spanish, the popular guide uses easy-to-understand language and includes descriptions of major vehicle systems, questions to ask a professional technician, and a checklist to remind drivers what vehicle systems need to be maintained and when service or repair should be performed. Special sections on fuel economy and environmental awareness show drivers how to get better gas mileage and make their vehicle more environmentally friendly.
The Car Care Council’s video entitled “Auto Service and Repair: What to Expect” helps drivers become more comfortable with the auto service and repair process, providing valuable information on such topics as finding the right auto repair facility, what to expect at the shop and what questions to ask. The video also covers the real truth about consumer rights and the manufacturer’s warranty. View the video online at http://www.carcare.org/2012/01/auto-repair-shop-video/.
Source: Car Care
Fall is here and its arrival means fewer hours of daylight and upcoming holiday travel. Before hitting the road, it is a wise idea to make sure your vehicle’s lights are in proper working order, says the non-profit Car Care Council.
“Lights play a critical role in safe driving, as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “From the driver’s seat you may not notice a light that isn’t working, so inspect all of your car’s lights and replace those that are out.”
Lights are normal wear items that require periodic inspection and replacement. The vehicle lighting system provides nighttime visibility; signals and alerts other drivers; and supplies light for viewing instruments and the vehicle’s interior. In addition to replacing dimming, rapidly blinking and non-functioning lights, the following tips can help keep you safe:
- Keep headlights, tail lights and signal lights clean. External dirt and debris can dim operational lights from being seen by others.
- Make sure that your headlights are properly aimed. Misaimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.
- If there is any doubt on whether or not your headlights should be on, turn them on. Lights not only help you see better in early twilight, they also make it easier for other drivers to see you.
- Don’t overdrive your headlights; you should be able to stop inside the illuminated area, otherwise you are creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle.
“Some states have laws that require the headlights to be on with the wipers,” said White. “Keeping your vehicle’s lights properly cared for and replacing wiper blades periodically will help ensure a safer ride, keeping the road ahead well-lit and giving you a clear view.”
For more information on vehicle lighting, service interval schedules, questions to ask a technician and tips to drive smart and save money, view the Car Care Council’s free digital Car Care Guide online at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.
The non-profit 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.
Source: Car Care
Following unprecedented rainfall on the Atlantic coast, flooding is taking its toll on car owners. Many in the affected areas have driven through high water that may have damaged their vehicles. Even though your vehicle may not have been flooded or completely covered in water, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends that you 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 foul 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 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.
- Have the suspension joints lubricated, if 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 www.carcare.org.
Source: Car Care
When: Thursday, Oct 15
Where: Twitter.com with #FallCarCare
How: Favorite, Retweet, Respond, Answer a question
The Car Care Council is hosting a Twitter chat to help educate drivers about the importance of preventative vehicle maintenance and getting their vehicle ready for winter.
Joining the conversation is easy! Favorite, retweet or respond to a #fallcarcare tweet to share with your followers. We also encourage you to write and send your own tweets using the hashtag #fallcarcare. Some examples and shareable images are below.
Source: Car Care