Engine

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?

Check Your Cool Quotient with a Cooling System Quiz

A fairly common household disaster is flooding of the laundry area due to a split hose on a washing machine. Also vulnerable to a similar disaster is your car. A bulging radiator hose, carrying hot water (coolant) under pressure, can rupture.

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.

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.

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.

"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.

Bad News: An Engine “Totaled” Good News: A Remanufactured Engine

It was among travelers’ worst nightmares and a very expensive trip for this motorist. His beloved pickup blew the engine and had to be towed 250 miles home. The temperature gauge didn’t work, nor did the check engine light. By the time he realized the engine was overheated the damage was done.

A Clean Car Is Cool

Cleaning a car: a piece of cake, right? Certainly, if you follow the procedures suggested by the Car Care Council. While it's the most basic procedure in car care, it does deserve some thought. The first step in cleaning the car is to wash it. Give it a good rinsing from top to bottom, including the wheels and inside the fenders. Always clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don't use the same mitt for both. This way you'll avoid contaminating the vehicle's paint with debris from the wheels and tires.

A Change for the Better? Just Ask Your Brakes

Changing the many fluids in a vehicle is always a change for the better. Dirty engine oil, transmission fluid or anti-freeze are bad news for a car. But what about brake fluid? Many motorists know that this fluid should be topped off, but changed?

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