Spring/Summer

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.

Learn This for "Safety's Sake"

We've all heard the exclamation, "For Pete's sake!" But 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.

Pride of Ownership Begins From Within

"Gee, it looks like new,“ said Fran, looking into Randy‘s car.“I’d never have guessed it was eight years old."

Bursting with pride, Randy confessed that if Fran had seen it a month earlier she would have turned her head the other way. The interior had become drab with time and wear. A gap in a seam, once barely visible, now spanned the seat. A minor rip from a screwdriver had become a big hole, oozing with foam padding. The carpeting was worn thin in spots and the headlining fabric was falling down.

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.

How to Shop For a Battery

If your car battery is dead or even weak, you’re not going anywhere. It is the leading cause of starting trouble, whether because of lights left on, a charging system problem or other cause.

Sometimes it is just that the battery has outlived its usefulness. But even at best, a healthy battery in 80-degree weather has only half of its output when the thermometer dips to zero.

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.

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.

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.”

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