Environment

Your Car Looks Like New. What’s Your Secret?

“It looks like new! I would have never guessed that car was eight years old.”

That is what we owners want to hear, but keeping our cars looking like the late models is tough, even with today’s long-lasting finishes. Dents, dings and cracked glass are several items that age the appearance of a vehicle. Fortunately, technology has helped advance the solutions to these problems, making the fixes quicker and less expensive. With mobile repair units, these items often can be repaired on site at your home or work, adding to the convenience.

High Water Headaches

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are one of the most common and widespread of all disasters. Most communities in the United States have experienced some level of flooding from high water due to spring rains, heavy thunderstorms or winter snow thaws. While your vehicle may not have been flooded or completely covered in water, that doesn't necessarily mean that you should not be concerned about water damage. If you drove through high water, there's a chance that you may have damaged your vehicle.

The Road to a Long-Lasting Automobile

Auto technicians say the key to keeping vehicles running well-today and down the road-is routine maintenance. Yet many drivers tend to stall when it comes to keeping up with some everyday auto-basics.

A recent survey by the Car Care Council found:

Stress Management Works for Holidays and Automobiles

In domino fashion, failing to plan for maintenance can turn small problems into larger ones, putting a serious dent in your automotive budget. The penalties of procrastinating on vehicle maintenance range from a heater that runs cold to a battery that won’t start the car.

Take care of your car’s seasonal services immediately and make plans to get ahead of the game next year. An early visit to your repair facility provides the opportunity to budget for unanticipated repairs. The Car Care Council offers the following checklist:

Rust: A Nasty Four-Letter Word

Henry Ford told buyers of his Model T they could select any color as long as it’s black. Today we see cars in any of 7,000 hues, including shades of rust that won’t appear on color chips in new car literature.

“Serious rust damage, including a hole right through the metal, can begin with a minor scratch in a parking lot from a shopping cart,” said Rich White of the Car Care Council. “Steel is strong and lasts a lifetime when it’s protected, but when that protection is invaded, the metal is exposed to the elements. That’s when rust begins its invasion.”

Daylight Savings Time is This Weekend, Time to Change Your Wiper Blades

Many drivers procrastinate when it comes to changing their wiper blades for them, it’s just not a priority. But the American Optometric Association reports that 90 percent of driving decisions are based on visibility. With that statistic in mind, It is critical it is to change wiper blades regularly.

Installing a new pair will immediately improve the level of visibility and control – a benefit for both the driver and for those sharing the road. It is recommended that wiper blades or refills be changed every six months to maintain maximum driving safety.

Proper Washing and Waxing Adds Value To Vehicles

More than one-third of car owners use damaging non-automotive products when washing their cars-products that could contain harmful detergents, abrasives and additives. And almost half of motorists don't ever wax their vehicles.

Keeping Your Leased Vehicle, or Buying an Off-Lease

Leasing has become a popular way of acquiring a vehicle. For those who face the decision regarding turning the vehicle in at the end of a lease versus taking ownership, the Car Care Council offers a suggestion: Invest in a comprehensive inspection by an independent expert before the lease has expired. This is especially important in the case of a high mileage vehicle.

Maintaining Your Present Vehicle May Make Financial Sense

Although you may want to get rid of your present vehicle in favor of a new car, taking better care of your current set of wheels may make much more sense in the long run-helping you achieve a goal of financial freedom.

"We advise our clients that if they want a 10 percent increase on their investments every year, they need to cut down on their expenses," said Terry Mulcahy, vice president of investments for R.W. Baird.

Keeping Up with Proper Vehicle Maintenance is Easier Than You Think

Motorists can protect their family’s safety by meeting their vehicle’s maintenance needs. While it’s easy to be car care aware, too many people are putting off simple preventative maintenance and repairs that could make their vehicles safer and more dependable.

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