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Connecting Jumper Cables

In the world of automotive emergencies, motorists need to learn certain procedures for "safety's sake." Two of the most valuable lessons, changing a tire and hooking up jumper cables are best learned before an emergency arises, according to the Car Care Council.

Consumers Can Avoid Problems by Watching for Warning Signs

When it comes to your car's safety, brakes top the list of systems that need monitoring. However, many people are unaware of the signs that indicate a car's brakes may need maintenance or repair.

For routine maintenance, it's important to check the vehicle's braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

Brake Safety Compromised with Contaminated Brake Fluid

Six fluids that require periodic replenishment or replacement in most vehicles are the engine oil, transmission fluid, anti-freeze/coolant, windshield washer solvent and fuel. Number six, the one most often neglected, is brake fluid. You've known about topping off brake fluid, you may say, but changing it?

Citizens and Vehicles, Getting Older, Working Harder

Thanks in part to advancements in health care, our 65 and over population, presently at 13% of the total, will be 20% by 2030 (source Washington Post). Technology has worked wonders in extending the life of our vehicles, too. Median car life has nearly doubled to more than 9 years. “As a result of technology the quarter million mile vehicle no long is a miracle,” says Rich White of the Car Care Council. Engines and drive trains are superbly refined, as are fuels and lubricants. Equipment developments and the personnel training to go along with them have added to this formula for long life.

Cold Fact About A/C Refrigerant

How did we ever get along without air conditioning in our cars? It's a feature we take for granted until, suddenly, it's blowing hot air.

In the past few years, many owners have discovered that fixing an inoperative air conditioner can cost a few hundred dollars or more, depending upon the make and model of vehicle. The reason is that the old standby R-12 refrigerant, trade named DuPont Freon, has been replaced by R-134a. Touted as being environmentally safer than its predecessor, R-134a has been standard since 1994.

Comprehensive Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off

Tow truck operators in resort areas or along Interstate highways see all too many travelers forced to return home ahead of schedule. Car trouble, usually due to neglected preventive maintenance, brings an abrupt end to vacation plans.

The situation usually means more than just a repair bill. It can involve towing charges, lodging and possibly a rental car. Add to that the cost of extra phone calls, meals and general inconvenience, and the ordeal becomes expensive.

Does "On the Road Again" Mean "On the Phone Again"?

These days you see more cell phones than ever, and many of them will be on the ears of people behind the wheel of an automobile. Some of these phones and their owners will wind up in car crashes, but don't be too quick to blame the cell phone. Blame the drivers who use them in the wrong place at the wrong time, allowing conversations to divert their attention from the road.

Avoiding a Stalled Vehicle

The stalled car syndrome, more noticeable on our roadways than in our driveways, has been with us for generations. But it becomes more critical with increased population. Beyond missed appointments or being late for work it also results in the condition known as road rage. Not only can a disabled vehicle have an annoying "ripple effect" that goes beyond the immediate scene; it can be disastrous for the driver who is left vulnerable to roadside crime or to the elements.

Botox for Your Car

America’s growing obsession with younger looking faces evidenced by the Botox craze, is inspiring car owners to prolong the appearance of their automobiles as well. Four billion dollars were spent last year in the United States on enhancements to keep the interior and exterior of vehicles looking like new, according to the Car Care Council.

“As consumers spend more time in their vehicles and drive more miles each year, they are placing more importance on comfort, luxury and appearance,” said Rich White, spokesperson for the council.

Can you See, Steer, and Stop? Check Lanes Raise the Question

The car in front of you has no brake light and an approaching vehicle has only one headlight. Have you ever considered how many vehicles surrounding you are in less than in tip-top condition? The number is astounding, according to results of National Car Care Month vehicle check lanes. In fact, less than one out of four get a clean bill of health.

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