Monthly Archives: November 2016

Know More About Fall Car Care Month Checklist

October is Fall Car Care Month, and the Car Care Council reminds motorists that checking their vehicles before the temperatures drop is a sensible way to avoid being stranded out in the cold and the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.

“The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down in cold, harsh winter weather. Winter magnifies existing problems like hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Whether you perform the check or maintenance yourself or go to the repair shop, it’s a small investment of time and money to ensure peace of mind, and help avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown during severe weather.”

The Car Care Council recommends the following Fall Car Care Month checklist to make sure your vehicle is ready for cold winter weather ahead.
Heating, Wipers & Lights

Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly.
Consider winter wiper blades and use cold-weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
Check to see that all exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
Tires & Brakes
Tire Tread- compare

Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure of all tires, 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.
Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.

Gas, Oil & Filters

Keep your gas tank at least half full throughout the cold weather to prevent moisture from forming in gas lines and possibly freezing.
Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate.
Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.

System Checks – Charging, Cooling & Exhaust

Have the battery and charging system checked, as cold weather is hard on batteries.
Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
Pack the Essentials

Prepare Your Care

Make sure that your ice scraper and snow brush are accessible and ready to use.
Stock an emergency kit with jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, extra clothes, bottled water, nonperishable food and a first aid kit with any needed medication.

All About Vehicle Lights and Wipers

As the days get shorter, lights and wipers play a major role in safe driving, as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen, according to the non-profit Car Care Council.

“With fewer daylight hours in fall and winter, it’s important to make sure your vehicle’s lights and wipers are working properly so your visibility is not compromised and you can be seen by others,” 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. Also, inspect and replace wiper blades so you can see clearly when wet weather hits.”

Lights are normal wear items that require periodic inspection and replacement. The 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.

Broken Tail Light MMThe wiper system keeps excessive water, snow and dirt from building up on the windshield, maintaining clear visibility. Many factors can accelerate the replacement interval of wipers, including operating conditions (winter conditions are tough on wiper blades), frequency of use, material and type of wipers and sunny weather. In fact, wiper blades can deteriorate faster and need more frequent replacement in desert states. Don’t forget to check the rear window wiper blade too!

“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.”

Should Know About Multiply Gas Savings

As gas prices continue to drop, motorists should take advantage of their savings at the pump and invest it back into their vehicles. By spending a little now to increase fuel efficiency, drivers can multiply fuel savings and save more money at the pump, says the Car Care Council.

The national average of the cost of a gallon of gas has been above $3 since 2010 but is expected to dip below that mark this year, according to a recent forecast by energy information service GasBuddy.com.

“Gas prices are expected to fall below $3 per gallon on average, and that means motorists can count on significant savings at the pump,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A small investment in simple and inexpensive auto care will add up to better fuel economy and even more savings.”

The non-profit Car Care Council encourages motorists to be car care aware and perform simple steps to improve fuel efficiency and save money.

Engine Performance: Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
Tire Pressure: Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.

Motor Oil: Improve gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.

Air Filters: Replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can improve fuel economy and will improve performance and acceleration on all vehicles.
Gas Cap: Damaged, loose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize into the air.

Fix It: Addressing a serious maintenance problem, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to www.fueleconomy.gov.

In addition to vehicle maintenance, modifying driving habits, such as observing the speed limit and avoiding quick stops and starts, can also increase fuel efficiency. Consolidating trips, avoiding excessive idling and removing unnecessary items from the trunk are also easy ways to lower fuel consumption.