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Tag Archive | "antifreeze"

Is warming your engine a winter must? 


CAR-Cold-weather-car-care

Five tips for better cold-weather car care

(BPT) – Warming up his car for a few minutes before heading to work is a winter morning routine for Steve Bailey. “I hate getting into a cold car, so letting it warm up for five minutes is as important for me as for the vehicle,” says Bailey, who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“My car is parked outside and I think it runs better after idling for a while, especially on below-zero mornings,” he says.

Plenty of cold-climate folks share Bailey’s winter car-care philosophy. But advancements in engine technology is reducing the need to idle, even in colder temperatures. According to many auto industry experts, the efficiency of today’s fuel-injected engines makes winter idling nearly unnecessary for most cars. U.S. Department of Energy experts report driving a gas-powered vehicle warms it twice as fast as idling it, and most auto manufacturers recommend starting your car, then driving slowly after only about 30 seconds of idling.

Excessive idling also wastes fuel and adds harmful emissions to the atmosphere. Many states and municipalities have enacted idling restrictions to curb auto emissions and minimize human exposure to carbon monoxide and other noxious exhaust gases.

Instead of warming your car each morning this winter, you’ll be better off taking time now to winterize your vehicle. AAA recommends checking these five key areas:

1. Consider an oil change. “Motor oil is one of the most important fluids in a car, so it’s important to go into winter knowing you’ve got clean, high-quality oil to keep the engine lubricated, even in frigid temperatures,” says Andrew Hamilton, technical services manager for Cenex brand lubricants.

Deciding whether to change your car’s oil type before temperatures plunge depends on the number of miles you drive and the type of motor oil you use. “Traditional mineral-based oils tend to thicken in cold temperatures, which can cause unnecessary engine wear,” says Hamilton. “They also need to be changed more often than newer synthetic-blend or full-synthetic oils. Full synthetic oils, like Cenex Maxtron 5W-30, flow better at low temperatures, for easier cold startups, and they provide longer performance, taking most cars up to 10,000 miles between oil changes.”

Not sure which oil to buy? Hamilton recommends using the online vehicle and equipment lookup tool found at Cenex.com. “Find your vehicle’s make and model, and the tool will give you engine oil recommendations that match its maintenance needs.”

2. Check tire pressure. Properly inflated tires maximize traction on wet or icy roads and help protect against wheel damage from potholes.

3. Test your battery. Batteries usually give little notice before dying. Since cold temperatures can reduce power by up to 50 percent, batteries that have been used for three years or more should be tested. Make sure posts and connections are free of corrosion. Remove any corrosion with a solution of baking soda and water, using a small wire brush.

4. Top off antifreeze. Make sure your car’s radiator contains the proper amount of a 50/50 mix of coolant and water. You can check the composition of radiator fluid using an inexpensive tester, available at auto parts stores. Be sure to check the antifreeze label to see if the product you are buying is premixed.

5. Inspect wipers and fluid level. Shorter days and precipitation ranging from snow and ice to sleet and rain pose visibility challenges in winter. Make sure wiper blades are in good condition and replace them if they’re more than a year old. Be sure the windshield washer fluid reservoir is filled with no-freeze washer fluid.

For additional automotive maintenance tips and an opportunity to nominate someone for free fuel this winter, visit Cenex.com.

 

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Consumer Advisory 


 

Certain antifreeze/coolant brands may damage your vehicles

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued a Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Order for antifreeze/coolant manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed prior to September 11, 2014, by the following Detroit, Michigan, companies after finding the products may cause damage to vehicle engines:

  • State Petroleum 1 Inc.
  • Petro-Zone and Dual-Temp, LLC
  • Omni PPG, Inc.

These products are sold under the Petro Zone Smart, Petro Zone and Ice Shield XXX brands.

As part of a several-month investigation, MDARD discovered the antifreeze/coolants being sold by these companies do not meet the labeled freeze points stated on the labels.

“When products don’t meet their labeled freeze points, they can cause lasting damage to vehicles. So, it’s vital consumers and businesses stop using or selling these products immediately,” said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director. “This company is selling a sub-standard product. MDARD’s Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Order not only ensures that Michigan’s consumers and businesses are getting what they pay for, but helps prevent long-term damage to their vehicles.”

The Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Orders prohibit the sale, offering for sale, or use of these antifreeze/coolants manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed by these companies.

These products should:

  • No longer be used.
  • Immediately be removed from store shelves or other product displays.
  • No longer be offered for sale.

The products may be properly disposed of in accordance with local ordinances, taken to a facility that recycles antifreeze/coolant, or consumers may contact the company directly.

Complaints can be made to:

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Consumer Protection Section

940 Venture Lane

Williamston, MI 48895

Toll-free: 800-632-3835

Fax: 517-655-8303

 

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