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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Source: Car Care

Routine Auto Care Drives Home Savings

Whether changing the oil, replacing the wiper blades or checking the tires, finding the time to perform simple preventative vehicle maintenance is money in the bank, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

According to research conducted by IMR Inc., one out of three consumers that put off routine vehicle maintenance do so because they cannot find a convenient time. In addition, millennials and those who own older vehicles are more likely to delay routine maintenance.

“There is an old adage that if you take care of your car, your car will take care of you,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Making time to perform routine auto care not only ensures a safer, more dependable vehicle, but car owners can preserve the trade-in value and save money by addressing small issues before they become more complicated, expensive repairs.”

The most common maintenance procedures to keep a car operating safely and reliably while maintaining its long-term value involve checking the oil, filters and fluids, the belts and hoses, brakes, tires and air conditioning. The Car Care Council also recommends an annual tune-up and wheel alignment.

To make it easier for car owners to remember to include auto care in their busy schedules, the Car Care Council offers a free custom service schedule and email reminder service. This simple-to-use online resource can be personalized to help make auto care more convenient and economical.

In addition, the council’s popular Car Care Guide for motorists and is available at no charge, electronically or by printed copy, in English and Spanish. The guide covers major services, component groups within the vehicle, service interval recommendations and much more.

IMR Inc. has been an industry leader in automotive research since 1975 and conducts syndicated and proprietary market research studies that focus on do-it-yourself and do-it-for-me consumer vehicle maintenance behavior, automotive parts and services, repair shops, technicians and vehicle technology trends. To learn more, visit www.automotiveresearch.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 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 Routine Auto Care Drives Home Savings appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Easy Ways to Drive Business During Fall Car Care Month

Looking for ways to drive more business? Fall Car Care Month in October is the perfect time to reach out to your community and remind them of the benefits of auto care while helping your business at the same time.

“With October right around the corner, there are many organizations that want to be part of Fall Car Care Month, but don’t have the time, personnel or budget to host a large-scale inspection event,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The Car Care Council makes leveraging Fall Car Care Month as easy as one, two, three by offering free tools, tips and information that auto care businesses can use to reach out to the community, help motorists be car care aware, and drive service and repair business to their locations.”

To help drive business during Fall Car Care Month and beyond, try these three simple steps from the non-profit Car Care Council:

  1. Free Tools – Suggest that your customers sign up for the Car Care Council’s free custom service schedule and e-mail reminder service at carcare.org/custom-service-schedule and order a free copy of the popular 80-page Car Care Guide for their glove box at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide. These links can be easily added to your website and shared on social media to help remind motorists of key service intervals.
  2. Free Tips – A quick way to promote your business is to share and retweet tips and reminders from the Car Care Council. By following the Car Care Council on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, you will have relevant content at your fingertips that can be easily shared.
  3. Free Information – Sign up for the Car Care Council’s eBrief to have the latest news sent directly to your inbox at http://portal.criticalimpact.com/sup.cfm?fid=dcc10188de866ec1.

The Car Care Council’s website at www.carcare.org is filled with useful information that can be shared with your customers to help them navigate common maintenance procedures and better understand auto repair needs. The site also features an Industry Tool Box section designed to help shops, stores, WDs, state aftermarket associations and other industry organizations take advantage of the business opportunities that Fall Car Care Month can create.

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

Car Care Council Recognized for Extraordinary Media Coverage

The Car Care Council recently received three prestigious awards from the North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS) for outstanding print media coverage of its consumer feature articles, nearly three times the average visibility.

According to NAPS, most articles from companies and organizations rarely generate 1,000 media placements. The Car Care Council articles “Don’t Fear the Check Engine Light,“Lights, Wipers: Keys to Seeing and Being Seen” and “Don’t Let Your Car Make Your Allergies Worse” received an extraordinarily high volume of placements by America’s newspaper editors, generating 2,972, 2,888 and 2,844 stories, respectively.

“The fact that these articles captured nearly three times more media coverage than most demonstrates that the Car Care Council is providing precisely the kind of auto care information, on behalf of the industry, that the media wants to share with its readers,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “These awards are a testament to the value and importance of consumer education content and the added benefits our industry provides to motorists, keeping their vehicles safe, dependable and on the road longer.”

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 Car Care Council Recognized for Extraordinary Media Coverage appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Vehicle Checklist For Car Pool Season

If any of the nearly 56 million children in the country getting ready to go back to school via car pools are yours, you can help make sure all the vehicles involved are kid safe and road ready with a five-point checklist:
1. Check lights and wipers for visibility. With shorter days and inclement weather ahead, make sure lights and wipers function properly so that you can see and be seen. Check the exterior and interior lights and replace any that are dimming, rapidly blinking or not functioning. Check wiper blades for signs of wear and replace if necessary.
2. Get an annual brake inspection. The braking system is your car’s most important safety feature. Before car pool season gets in full swing, make sure that your brakes are functioning properly. Schedule a brake inspection and look for warning signs that your vehicle may need brake services, such as an illuminated brake light or screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.
3. Check tires for underinflation or excessive wear. Check tire pressure and refill underinflated tires, including the spare, look for uneven wear and check tread depth. An easy way to do the latter is by placing a penny head-down in the tread groove. If the tread does not cover Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.
4. Make sure everyone is buckled up. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website has important tips on seat belt fit and position. For the younger ones riding along, the site has information about how to install car seats as well as guidelines on selecting a car seat or booster based on your child’s age and size.
5. Consider a back-up detection device. Consider having a back-up detection device installed that provides rearview video or warning sounds when moving in reverse. While drivers should not rely solely on these devices, they can help to reduce the risk of backover incidents along with following other prevention tips from NHTSA.
“Back-to-school time is hectic for most families, but scheduling a complete vehicle inspection is time well spent,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Knowing your vehicle was checked by a professional technician will give you peace of mind and make all those trips to school and activities safer and less stressful.”
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.

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Source: Car Care