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Always Replace Headlight Bulbs in Pairs

Motorists will only replace a headlight bulb that has burned out or is failing. However, replacing just one failed bulb can result in an unbalanced or unpredictable headlight beam, which presents a potential safety risk. From the driver’s perspective, the road ahead will not be properly lit, and the driver will not get the full benefit of the vehicle’s headlights as the car maker originally intended. From the oncoming driver’s perspective, an uneven headlamp beam can create an equally risky safety issue. The oncoming car will be harder to see and difficult to position on the road. It could also be confused with a single headlight vehicle such as a motorcycle. Replacing important auto parts in pairs is a common sense idea. Professional automotive technicians and driving safety advocates alike consistently recommend that tires, brakes, shocks, and wiper blades should be replaced in pairs to make sure the vehicle is properly balanced and functioning safely. Lighting is ... read more

Are Your Brakes Trying To Tell You Something?

If your brakes are trying to tell you something, you should pay attention. A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle control and operation and it should be checked immediately if you suspect any problems. “While an annual brake inspection is a good way to ensure brake safety, motorists should not ignore signs that their brakes need attention,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Knowing the key warning signs that your brakes may need maintenance will go a long way toward keeping you and others safe on the road.” It is important for motorists to look for these following warning signs that their brakes need to be inspected: Noise: screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes. Pulling: vehicle pulls to one side while braking. Low Pedal: brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging. Hard Pedal: must appl ... read more

As New Car Prices Rise, Maintaining Current Vehicle Makes Financial Sense

With the cost of a new vehicle on the rise, maintaining your current vehicle makes more economic sense than purchasing a new one. The average price of a new passenger vehicle is nearly $34,000, according to Kelley Blue Book, while IHS Markit reports that average vehicle age has risen to 11.5 years. “In the early 1970s, the average new vehicle cost only about $3,900,” said Rich White, executive director,  of Car Care Council. “While the price of a new vehicle has skyrocketed over the years, the good news is that today’s cars are lasting longer than ever before. Keeping your current vehicle, and maintaining it at recommended intervals, protects its trade-in value and postpones the sting of new-car prices.” Regular Maintenance is Key. The best way to ensure a vehicle’s longevity is to observe a regular service schedule. Keep up with fluid and filter changes, tire checks and other routine maintenance. Over time, so ... read more

A Little Auto Care Goes a Long Way

Performing simple preventative maintenance on your vehicle will go a long way toward protecting your vehicle investment. National car care month in April is the perfect time of year to give your car some extra attention. Follow a vehicle service schedule and perform the most common routine maintenance procedures to keep your car performing at it's best.  - Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and anitfreeze/coolant.  - Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change. - Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. - Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear. - Check the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heatin ... read more

Top 10 Most Common Vehicle Repairs

While countless problems can arise with your car, some issues are more likely to occur than others. Understanding these problems can help you more quickly diagnose an issue when it happens and take measures to prevent a disaster in the first place. Changing the oil and oil filter, replacing wiper blades and air filters, and scheduled maintenance top the list of the 10 most common vehicle repairs. According to research conducted by IMR Inc., an industry leader in automotive research, the top 10 most common vehicle repairs performed by vehicle owners and their trusted repair shops are: Oil/oil filter changed- change the vehicle's engine oil every 3,000-5,000 miles depending on th year make and model of the vehicle, how the vehicle owner drives and the condition in which they drive. Filters are normal wear items that require checks and replacement.  Wiper blades replacement- replace every ... read more

A Clean Car is Money in the Bank

Purchasing a new car is a major financial investment. Keeping it clean is an easy and inexpensive way to protect its resale and trade-in value, says the non-profit Car Care Council. “Many motorists procrastinate when it comes to cleaning their vehicles,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Whether you do it yourself or have it cleaned professionally, proactively keeping your car clean on the outside, and tidy on the inside, will pay big dividends when it comes to maintaining your vehicle’s value over time.” Here are five simple steps to keep a vehicle clean, helping protect it from the elements and preserve its value. Declutter – Start the cleaning process by removing excess clutter from inside the car as it can be distracting and hazardous, especially when debris finds its way near the gas and brake pedals. Don’t forget to clear out items that have accumulated in the trunk as they can add extra weig ... read more

Ignoring These Vehicle Repairs May Cause You To Get Pulled Over

Many drivers may feel that they don’t have the time or money to address vehicle repairs immediately, but beware that ignoring some repairs can get you pulled over and even ticketed. “Ignoring certain vehicle repairs may seem to save money in the short term but can lead to extra costs, such as fines or ‘fix-it’ tickets, if these problems are not taken care of when they arise,” said Rich White, executive director, of the Car Care Council. “In some jurisdictions, car owners may even lose their license for certain violations. A few dollars spent on simple vehicle repairs can help avoid trouble with the law.” While a vehicle is in operation, traffic laws require that certain equipment is properly installed and functioning correctly, including brakes, headlights, turn signals, mirrors, windshields and safety belts, to name a few. The Car Care Council recommends that drivers address these repairs right away as they present public safety concerns th ... read more

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Check Vehicle A/C and Stay Cool on the Road

With the summer temperatures rising, it is important for vehicle owners to be car care aware and have their a/c system checked to make sure it is working properly.  A vehicle's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) keeps the car's interior cabin comfortable in any season by providing the right temperature and humidity level. Typical A/C service by a professional service technician consists of the following steps: - Service technician visually inspects hoses, lines, seals and other components for leaks as well as inspects the drive belt for damage or cracks. - The technician checks pressure to test operation, refrigerant charge and outlet temperatures  - If the system is found to be low on refrigerant, a leak test is performed to find the source of the leak. Leaking refrigerant heats up a vehicle and damages the ozone layer.  - Refrigerant may be added if necessary, to "top off" the system, although some states do not allow "topping ... read more

4 Symptoms of a Sick Cooling System

With the hot summer temperatures on the rise, knowing the symptoms of a sick cooling system are critical to your summer driving plans, since cooling system failure is a leading cause of vehicle breakdowns. The most noticeable symptoms are overheating, leaks, a sweet smell of antifreeze and repeatedly needing to add coolant.  Neglecting your cooling system can result in serious damage and even complete engine failure. If the cooling system doesn't receive regular maintenance, it's not a question of whether it will fail, but rather when will it fail. Performing regular checkups of belts, hoses, the water pump and fluids will ensure your car remains properly cooled and healthy for many miles down the road.  The primary job of the engine's cooling system is to remove the heat that is generated during the combustion process. The coolant temperature can be well over 200 degrees and that heat has to go somewhere, otherwise engine components are going to start fail ... read more

Don't Fear The Check Engine Light

Although the check engine light may look scary lit up on the dashboard, there is nothing to fear. A glowing check engine light doesn't mean you have to immediately pull over to the side of the road, but it does mean you should get the car checked out as soon as possible. Do not fear when the check engine light is illuminated, it usually means that the vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly.  Some common malfunctions that can cause the check engine light to illuminate include a faulty oxygen sensor, mass air flow sensor, or spark plugs and wires. If the light flashes, the condition is more critical and must be checked immediately to prevent severe damage, which may include catalytic converter damage. Even if the vehicle appears to be running normally, ignoring the warning light could result in more costly repairs. The light could be alerting you to engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy and co ... read more

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