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Monthly Archives: October 2017

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