Operating and Fuel Cost Savings

Faith in Your Tech = Faith in Your Vehicle

“I feel like such a fool,” Sandra complained. “All I did was take my car in for an oil change and wound up paying for oil, an oil filter and an air filter. Plus, because he called to tell me my fan belt was shot, I had to get one of those installed.

“How am I supposed to know if the old one really was in bad shape? How am I supposed to know if they took advantage of me?”

For Safer Teen Drivers, Read This Before Handing Over the Keys

Moms are the ones who usually cart kids around from school to scouts to baseball. More often than not, these women take responsibility for the repair and maintenance of their vehicles. But what happens when the kids grow out of the backseat and into the driver's seat? Who's looking after their vehicles?

Drivetrain Quiz

Your car's drivetrain is a vital power-transmitting component, and key to dependability. It's responsible for transmitting the flow of power from the engine to the wheels. The components include the clutch, torque converter, transmission, driveshafts (or axle shafts in front wheel drive), U-joints, CV joints, differential and axles.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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