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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:

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.

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.

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.”

Ease Gas Pump Pains by Replacing Old Habits with New Ones

Gas pump prices remain on their roller-coaster ride, with more ups than downs. They’re hard on the budget and beyond consumers’ control. With some changes in our daily habits, however, we can compensate, at least partially, for rising fuel costs. Adhering to your errand list, thereby eliminating an extra trip to the store for a forgotten item, saves miles and dollars. (U.S. Department of Transportation reports 63% of all trips are 5 miles or less)

For Ladies Who Enjoy Shopping: How to Shop For a Battery

When it comes to smart shopping, women generally have the upper hand and, because they buy their share of batteries, this information will help the ladies stay up to date in the automotive department.

Gender-wise or otherwise, 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.

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.

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.

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