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January, 2016

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Sensible Steps to Help Keep Your Car Longer

More and more people are keeping their vehicles longer as the average age of a car on the road today is more than 11 years. Considering the cost of a new car is about $31,000 on average, deciding to keep your car rather than buying a new one makes financial sense, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council offers sensible steps to help motorists maintain their vehicles for safety, dependability and value.

Keep it Clean

Washing the carWashing and waxing your vehicle on a regular basis protects it from the natural elements that may harm the finish.

A good cleaning of the inside and outside of the vehicle prevents the buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt, reduces the potential for rust from road salt and ensures proper visibility needed for safe driving.

Steps to a cleaner car.

Rely on Your Senses
When driving, always be alert and rely on your senses.While you may be familiar with noises that your vehicle makes on a daily basis, any noise that is new, different or suspicious may indicate a problem. Listen for sounds such as squealing, thumping, hissing and grinding – these are all signs that the vehicle may be trying to tell you something.

Vehicle Car Smell InfographicUnusual smells such as burnt rubber, hot oil, gasoline, rotten eggs, burning carpet or the sweet smell of syrup can be a sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle.

Infographic: 6 Vehicle Warning Smells

When you hear or smell something that doesn’t seem right, do not ignore it. Instead bring your car to a professional service technician to get an informed opinion on the nature of the sound or odor.

Stay on Schedule

The key to a car running at its best is basic maintenance. Keeping up with fluid changes, tire checks, filter changes and other services will help avoid bigger and more expensive repairs. Over time, some car parts and components wear out or become damaged. Being aware of your car will help you address any issues before they become bigger problems.

Custom Vehicle Service Schedule OnlineIn addition to following the maintenance schedule recommended in your owner’s manual, the Car Care Council offers a free custom service schedule to help you be proactive in caring for your car.

“Everyone loves a new car but sometimes the money is just not there to purchase one,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “If you treat your car as a valuable investment and commit to regular preventative auto care, not only will you end up saving money, but your car will keep on running for many miles down the road.”

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 Sensible Steps to Help Keep Your Car Longer appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Car Care: Winter Maintenance Check

Heavy snow can be fun for some, but many drivers dread treacherous winter driving conditions. Being car care aware will help ensure your vehicle is ready for harsh winter weather encountered on the road, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

Winter Maintenance Checklist

“Many drivers overlook auto care this time of year, even with inclement weather in the forecast,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Driving in snow, especially in heavy snowfall or a blizzard, takes patience and preparation. A vehicle that is properly prepared for the elements can help you avoid an unplanned road emergency when the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse.”

To ensure that your vehicle is ready for winter driving, the Car Care Council recommends that motorists perform a winter maintenance check of areas that have direct impact on winter driving.

  1. Battery – 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Brakes – Have the brake system checked. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
  1. Tires – Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure, including the spare. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Lights & Wipers – Make sure all exterior and interior lights are working so you can see and be seen. Check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir and replace wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield.

Winter Car Care Tip- Battery Winter Car Care Tip- Antifreeze Winter Car Care Tip- Brakes Winter Car Care Tip- Tires Winter Car Care Tip- Oil&Filter Winter Car Care Tip- Lights

In addition, the council 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. Drivers should keep their vehicle’s gas tank at least half-full to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing and 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 post Car Care: Winter Maintenance Check appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Winter Driving Forecast – Say It Ain’t Snow

Heavy snow can be fun for some, but many drivers dread treacherous winter driving conditions. Being car care aware will help ensure your vehicle is ready for harsh winter weather encountered on the road, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“Many drivers overlook auto care this time of year, even with inclement weather in the forecast,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Driving in snow, especially in heavy snowfall or a blizzard, takes patience and preparation. A vehicle that is properly prepared for the elements can help you avoid an unplanned road emergency when the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse.”

To ensure that your vehicle is ready for winter driving, the Car Care Council recommends that motorists perform a four-point winter maintenance check of areas that have direct impact on winter driving.

  1. Battery – 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Brakes – Have the brake system checked. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
  1. Tires – Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure, including the spare. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Lights & Wipers – Make sure all exterior and interior lights are working so you can see and be seen. Check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir and replace wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield.

In addition, the council 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. Drivers should keep their vehicle’s gas tank at least half-full to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing and 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 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 Winter Driving Forecast – Say It Ain’t Snow appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Infographic: Car Maintenance Checklist

Start the new year fresh with this car maintenance checklist! Our general service schedule is easy to follow based on month intervals and focuses on what items need to be checked and when.

Not only does routine auto care and preventative maintenance help keep your car safe and dependable, but it helps save money and aggravation. This infographic helps you understand what items should be inspected, either by you or your mechanic, to determine if there is a maintenance need before it becomes a bigger problem.

 

Car Care Annual Checklist - Infographic

Learn more about these maintenance items here, or in our free Car Care Guide. Remember, this is a general service schedule and every vehicle is different. Consult your owner’s manual for specific maintenance intervals.

Want a custom service schedule that send reminders for your vehicle? Sign-up here!

The post Infographic: Car Maintenance Checklist appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care