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Car Care Council Offers Helpful Resources at Every Turn

Whether driving across the country or just across town, the non-profit Car Care Council offers tools and tips about regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to help motorists prepare for every turn ahead.

“The Car Care Council’s website at CarCare.org contains a wealth of auto care resources to help motorists take a proactive role in maintaining their vehicles so they can address any needed maintenance or repairs before hitting the road,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “That way they can enjoy the drive without worrying about the surprise of car trouble and unexpected vehicle repairs.”

The Car Care Council website is filled with useful information to help motorists navigate common maintenance procedures and better understand auto repair needs. The blog section on the homepage is frequently updated with the latest tips and advice about vehicle care, preparing your vehicle for the changing seasons, pre-trip vehicle inspections and more. The site also features a customizable service schedule and e-mail maintenance reminders, a comprehensive repair shop locator and a vehicle systems overview.

Motorists can also follow the Car Care Council on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest to receive quick car care tips and reminders.

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.

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 Offers Helpful Resources at Every Turn appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Community Car Care Events Show Most Vehicles Need Service

Community car care events conducted across the country reveal that the majority of vehicles need service on one or more inspected areas of the vehicle.

“At the Car Care Council, we stress the importance of preventative vehicle maintenance and provide free tools, tips and information to help motorists become more car care aware so they can avoid the hassle and expense associated with unexpected car trouble,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By implementing a proactive auto care plan, car owners can identify and fix small issues now before they become more costly repairs later.”

The community car care event inspections checked a variety of vehicle components including wipers, belts, hoses, air filters, lighting, tires and lubricant/fluids. The Car Care Council gathered and tabulated the results and found that eight out of 10 vehicles need some type of service. The top areas showing the highest failure rates include:

  • Engine Oil – 22 percent of vehicles tested had low, overfull or dirty oil.
  • Belts/Hoses – inspections revealed 18 percent of belts were unsatisfactory and at least 12 percent of vehicles needed a new hose.
  • Air Filters – nearly one out of every five vehicles inspected needed a new air filter.
  • Check Engine Light – 14 percent of vehicles had an illuminated check engine light, slightly higher than the previous year’s results.
  • Batteries – battery cables, clamps and terminals were found to be in need of repair on 18 percent of vehicles inspected.

The Car Care Council has a free Car Care Guide available at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide, providing motorists with a useful resource that can be kept in the glove box or accessed online. The guide features service interval information, questions to ask a technician and other helpful auto care information that can help drivers better maintain and protect their 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 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

Don’t Let Tires Flatten Your Summer Travel Plans

Getting a flat tire is no fun for anyone at any time, especially on vacation. To keep your summer road trip rolling along, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends a quick tire check before you leave the driveway.

“The excitement of summer vacation quickly deflates when your car has a flat tire,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A quick four-step tire check will help you to avoid the aggravation of changing a flat tire on the side of the road.”

  1. Check that all tires, including the spare, are inflated to recommended pressure levels.
  2. Check tire tread depth with a simple penny test – if you see Lincoln’s head above the tread, then it is time for new tires.
  3. Check for irregular wear as uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment.
  4. Check tires for cuts, bruises, bulges, bald spots or other irregularities that can lead to a flat tire.

AAA expects to get calls from over seven million stranded motorists this summer and a good portion of those vehicle troubles will be tire related,” said White. “A comprehensive pre-trip vehicle inspection, including the tires, is the best way to alert you of any potential issues so you can address them before you leave home and keep your road trip on track.”

For more information on tire safety and maintenance, visit www.ustires.org/safety. For service interval schedules, questions to ask a technician and other helpful auto care information, view the Car Care Council’s free digital Car Care Guide at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

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 Don’t Let Tires Flatten Your Summer Travel Plans appeared first on Be Car Care Aware.

Source: Car Care

Auto Care Steps for a Stress Free Road Trip

Summer road trip season is here. Taking proactive steps to make sure your vehicle is operating properly will help avoid the hassle and unexpected cost of a breakdown away from home, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

This summer, AAA expects to receive calls from over seven million stranded motorists experiencing car trouble. The majority of issues the travel group anticipates will cause car problems, such as dead batteries and flat tires, can be prevented with a pre-trip vehicle inspection.

“Summer heat can take a toll on a vehicle, especially if it hasn’t been properly maintained,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Whether you do it yourself or visit a trusted professional technician, a pre-trip vehicle check will give you peace of mind and provide the opportunity to make any necessary repairs before you hit the highway.”

AAA also reports that four out of 10 drivers are unprepared for vehicle breakdowns. So you and your vehicle are ready for the road, the Car Care Council recommends taking the following auto care steps before you leave home.

  • Check the battery and replace if necessary. Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging. Excessive heat and overcharging shortens the life of a battery.
  • Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check the HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system as proper cooling performance is critical for interior comfort.
  • Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check the wipers and lightingso that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
  • Check the emergency kit and restock, if necessary. Be sure to fully charge cell phones before leaving home.

The Car Care Council also recommends inspecting the brake system and performing a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy.

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

A Clean Car is Money in the Bank

Purchasing a new car is a major financial investment. Keeping it clean is an easy and inexpensive way to protect its resale and trade-in value, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“Many motorists procrastinate when it comes to cleaning their vehicles,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Whether you do it yourself or have it cleaned professionally, proactively keeping your car clean on the outside, and tidy on the inside, will pay big dividends when it comes to maintaining your vehicle’s value over time.”

The Car Care Council suggests five simple steps to keep a vehicle clean, helping protect it from the elements and preserve its value.

  • Declutter – Start the cleaning process by removing excess clutter from inside the car as it can be distracting and hazardous, especially when debris finds its way near the gas and brake pedals. Don’t forget to clear out items that have accumulated in the trunk as they can add extra weight and reduce fuel efficiency.
  • Clean the Interior – The next step is to thoroughly clean the interior, wash the windows, and clean and install floor mats. Be sure to vacuum on a regular basis. A clean and orderly interior allows you spot issues in the cabin so you can get them repaired before they get worse.
  • Wash the Exterior – Give your car a good wash from top to bottom using products specifically made for automobiles. Always clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don’t use the same washing mitt or cloth for both.
  • Wax Twice a Year – Waxing not only protects a vehicle’s finish, but it also makes subsequent washing easier. Before proceeding, make sure there are no foreign particles on the paint. It is important to note that waxing should be done in the shade, not direct sunlight.
  • Fix Chips – If you find minor paint damage, cover the paint chips as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. For a quick fix until you can get paint touchup supplies, dab a little clear nail polish on the scratch.

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

Clean the Tank

While a vehicle’s fuel pump is not a maintenance item, it will likely need to be replaced at some point.
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.
Check out the steps involved in cleaning a fuel tank from Delphi: How to Clean Your Fuel Tank

 

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Source: Car Care

Always replace headlight bulbs in pairs

Typically, motorists will only replace a headlight bulb that has burned out or is failing. However, replacing just one failed bulb can result in an unbalanced or unpredictable headlight beam, which presents a potential safety risk. From the driver’s perspective, the road ahead will not be properly lit, and the driver will not get the full benefit of the vehicle’s headlights as the car maker originally intended.

From the oncoming driver’s perspective, an uneven headlamp beam can create an equally risky safety issue. The oncoming car will be harder to see and difficult to position on the road. It could also be confused with a single headlight vehicle such as a motorcycle.

Replacing important auto parts in pairs is a common sense idea. Professional automotive technicians and driving safety advocates alike consistently recommend that tires, brakes, shocks, and wiper blades should be replaced in pairs to make sure the vehicle is properly balanced and functioning safely. Lighting is no different and equally as important to driver safety.

Why replace headlight bulbs when they get old?

Many drivers will only replace a bulb that has completely failed, but for maximum driving safety, an aging bulb should replaced before it burns out. The filament of any halogen headlight bulb ages with use, time, and exposure to the elements. As a result, the bulb’s light output deteriorates. At the end of their typical service life, headlight bulbs project less light, and that reduces the driver’s nighttime visibility.

For example, a new headlight bulb that can typically project a 240-foot beam will only be able to deliver a 160-foot beam after three years. That’s potentially a whopping 33% percent less light and a critical safety concern.

Changing bulbs in pairs also makes good sense from an efficiency point of view. You only have to go to the shop once and you reduce the risk of the other headlight bulb failing while you’re on the road.

For more information, visit: http://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-li/car-lights/change-in-pairs
From: Philips Automotive Lighting

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Source: Car Care

A Little Auto Care Goes a Long Way

Performing simple preventative maintenance on your vehicle will go a long way toward protecting your vehicle investment, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“Buying a new car today comes with a hefty price tag when you add up the down payment, monthly car payments and higher insurance rates. Neglecting its care can mean even higher costs down the line in the form of more extensive repairs and lost resale value,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By following a proactive auto care plan, the typical car should deliver at least 200,000 miles of safe, dependable, efficient and enjoyable performance.”

National Car Care Month in April is the perfect time of year to give your car some extra attention. The Car Care Council recommends following a vehicle service schedule, keeping a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide in the glovebox and performing the most common routine maintenance procedures to keep your vehicle performing at its best.

  • Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
  • Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
  • Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and safety reasons, such as defrosting.
  • Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

“Be sure to fully inspect your vehicle annually, including performing a tune-up and wheel alignment,” continued White. “If you ever suspect there is a problem, it’s a good idea to address it quickly before minor repairs become more complicated, expensive repairs.”

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

Basic Tire Maintenance for Every Driver

The tires are the only thing between the vehicle and the road. When they are properly inflated and in good condition, the handling, stability and safety of the vehicle will be maximized. Conversely, when the tires are under inflated, worn out or damaged, all of the safety systems on the vehicle cannot overcome the loss of control that comes with a blow-out or hydroplaning situation. Air pressure in a tire is like oil in an engine; when it is low, the resulting internal damage is unseen until it is too late. Tires naturally lose 1-2 psi per month, so ongoing neglect will eventually result in a tire that cannot support the weight of the vehicle and the occupants. When this happens, the resulting blow-out can result in the loss of control and an accident.

It’s also important to rotate the tires on the vehicle every 5-7,000 miles. Today’s front-wheel-drive vehicles cause the steer tires to wear at a much faster rate than the tires on the rear axle. By periodically rotating the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front, motorists can achieve even treadwear on all four tires and increase the mileage and performance. Failing to rotate the tires often results in the front tires wearing out faster while the rear tires develop irregular treadwear patterns that cause vibrations. The same can be said for alignments. When the vehicle is not properly aligned, the tires will wear out faster which leads to increased operating costs.

Finally, drivers should perform a visual inspection of their tires on a regular basis, especially after hitting a pothole, curb or any type of road debris. Bulges, cuts and other visible damage weaken the internal components of the tire, which can lead to a blow-out. Regular visual inspections will often identify any potential problems before they result in an accident. It’s also a good idea to have the tires inspected by a professional before any long road trips to ensure there are no obvious out-of-service conditions that must be addressed.

Written by: Kevin Rohlwing, Senior VP of Training, Tire Industry Association

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Source: Car Care

Trending Now: April is National Car Care Month

 Each spring, vehicle maintenance is a trending topic across the country because April is National Car Care Month. This year will be no exception as the non-profit Car Care Council shares the benefits of routine vehicle maintenance via its website and social media platforms.

“With more and more motorists turning to cell phones, mobile devices and the internet for auto care information, we’ve made it easier than ever to learn about vehicle service and repair by simply following the Car Care Council online,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “During National Car Care Month and throughout the year, we are constantly sharing information to help motorists keep their vehicles operating safely, dependably and efficiently, so be sure to check our website and social media platforms often.”

By following the Car Care Council on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest, motorists will receive quick car care tips and reminders. For more in-depth vehicle service information and videos, the Car Care Council website (www.carcare.org) is filled with useful information to help motorists navigate common maintenance procedures and better understand auto repair needs. Visitors can find learn about specific vehicle systems, sign up for the free custom service schedule, and order a copy of the popular 80-page Car Care Guide at no charge.

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