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Drivers Beware! The Perils of Potholes Are Upon Us

As the ravages of winter subside and temperatures rise, there is probably a pothole out there with your name on it, cautions the Car Care Council. Record cold temperatures, snow and rainfall in many parts of the country have created the perfect storm for the motorists' dreaded “perils of potholes period.”

Drivers know immediately when they hit a pothole. The heart-stopping, teeth-jarring noise is hard to mistake. However, it’s not always immediately clear if hitting the pothole caused damage to the vehicle, and to what extent.

It’s All in the Timing

With automotive engines as with many aspects of daily life, timing is critical. One vehicle component often overlooked during routine maintenance is the engine-timing belt. If it fails, the engine will stop and the car will coast to a stop. The lucky motorist will only have the inconvenience of being stranded on the side of the road until the car can be towed to a repair facility to have the timing belt replaced. On the other hand, the engine might suffer severe, if not catastrophic, damage to its internal components.

What Does a 5-Star Safety Rating Mean?

The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) rates vehicles to determine crash worthiness and rollover safety. The safety ratings are gathered during controlled crash and rollover tests conducted at NHTSA’s research facilities.

"Bells & Whistles" Enhance Your Bland Vehicle

As they make the rounds to select their new vehicle, many shoppers recoil at sticker prices. With cars now averaging well above $20,000, some buyers reevaluate their needs and desires, reluctantly settling for the no-frills, "plain vanilla" model. With time, however, these same motorists may find themselves with a few extra dollars they can invest in their vehicle. Is it time to buy another car, even though there still are payments to make? The Car Care Council says instead of replacing your vehicle, consider repairing and upgrading what you already have.

Save Money On Car Repair With These Four Questions

Automotive technicians are often compared to doctors. This comparison undoubtedly makes some techs smile and others grimace. But in the end, the two professions have a lot in common. It may surprise consumers to find that by choosing these professionals wisely, they can get better care at a better price.

When it comes to choosing a repair shop, many experts extol the virtues of the clean facility, a wall adorned with ASE certificates or a coffee pot and some tasty snacks. While these items are important, these four vital questions tell most of the story:

How NOT To Save Money

It doesn’t take an accountant to recognize that it costs more money to operate a vehicle than it did a few years ago. This may cause some motorists to try saving a few dollars by using cheap gas delaying needed maintenance. “That’s a classic case of false economy,” says Rich White, of the Car Care Council, “and it’s no surprise that these ‘money-saving’ measures can cost big money in the long run.”

If It Looks Like A Flat, Feels Like A Flat, And Sounds Like A Flat, Guess What…!

A flat tire shouldn’t be reason for panic. “In schools where drivers’ education isn’t available,” observes one educator, “tire changing ought to be included in home economics.” The Car Care Council suggests that motorists who are unprepared to deal with a flat tire are faced not only with added expense and inconvenience; they also are more vulnerable to foul weather and roadside crime.

After Vehicle Roll-Overs, Properly Replaced Windshields Are Essential

America’s drivers have not been adequately alerted to the increasing frequency of rollover crashes and the danger these rollovers constitute to all vehicle occupants. According to the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 10,666 people died in rollover crashes last year, a 5 percent increase from the prior year.

Car Care Guide Takes Mystery Out of Vehicle Maintenance

A new Car Care Guide for motorists turns technical automotive jargon into easy-to-understand everyday language, taking the mystery out of vehicle maintenance and repair. The free guide, published by the Car Care Council, can be ordered on the council’s Web site at www.carcare.org.

Smart Motorists Don’t Trade, They Upgrade

Although you may want to get rid of your present vehicle in favor of a new car, repowering your current set of wheels may make much more sense in the long run, according to the Engine Repower Council (ERC) and the Car Care Council (CCC).

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