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Tag Archive | "Auto Care"

Auto Advice: Don’t fear the check engine light


A “check engine” light coming on doesn’t mean you have to stop driving immediately but you should get it looked at very soon.

A “check engine” light coming on doesn’t mean you have to stop driving immediately but you should get it looked at very soon.

(NAPS) — Although the check engine light may look scary lit up on the dashboard, you don’t need to panic. A glowing check engine light doesn’t mean you have to immediately pull the car to the side of the road; it does mean you should get the car checked out as soon as possible.

Motorists should not get spooked when the check engine light comes on,” says Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council, the source for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign promoting regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. “When illuminated, the check engine light usually means that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly.”

Possible Problems

Some common malfunctions that can cause the 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 problems.

Even if the vehicle appears to be running normally, ignoring the warning light could result in more costly repairs,” adds White. “At the very least, the light could be alerting you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy and costing you money.”

Service and Solutions

When scheduling service, make sure the repair shop that examines your vehicle has professional technicians who are trained and certified in OBDII diagnosis and repair. The technician will connect your vehicle’s computer system to a diagnostic scan tool, which will provide trouble codes indicating why the check engine light was activated. While the diagnostic tool is connected, the technician can analyze data streams such as the idle speed, throttle response, engine temperature, fuel system pressure, manifold vacuum, exhaust emission levels and many other key indicators. Once the problem is identified and the repair is made, the car’s computer is reset.

LearnMore

For further illuminating facts about taking the scare out of an illuminated check engine light, visit www.carcare.org, view the council’s Car Care Minute and order a free copy of the newly updated Car Care Guide at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

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Auto Advice: Keep track of open recalls


Remember, to keep your car  safe, it pays to pay attention to auto recalls.

Remember, to keep your car safe, it pays to pay attention to auto recalls.

(NAPS)—If you’re like most people, car safety and performance are important to you. But you might be surprised to hear that over 47 million vehicles have unfixed safety recalls—vehicles you might be sharing the road with or driving yourself.

Alarmingly, family-oriented vehicles like SUVs and minivans are the least-often fixed. An auto recall usually occurs when the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that a car has a defect or fails to meet federal safety standards.

While repeated attempts are made to reach the owners, the stats suggest that people aren’t well-enough informed about recalls, and may not know where to start. To help you stay informed, you can use the free myCarfax.com service to get e-mails or text alerts about current and future recalls on your car.

Fixing recalls helps maintain the safety and value of your car, makes roads safer, and is normally free. Plus, most recall fixes are completed in less than a day.

Remember that only a manufacturer’s dealer is authorized to fix recalls. If your car is recalled, call your local dealer immediately.

Learn more and sign up at www.mycarfax.com

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Resolution: start taking better care of your vehicle


(NewsUSA) – While we might slip up on our New Year’s resolutions at times, this year you can resolve to take better care of your car all year. Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following tips for winter vehicle maintenance to get you started!
*Be proactive. Winter only magnifies existing problems like pings, hard starts,  sluggish performance or rough idling. Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound before the temperature dips and the streets get icy. Make certain the engine is in peak condition. Also check the cooling system. Coolant should be replaced per the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
*Be on schedule. Have your motor oil changed regularly. Use the specified weight and grade of oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Also make sure to check that the heating/defrosting system is working properly.
*Be prepared. Prepare for potential winter emergencies by using your trunk as a storage place for emergency items. Important items to have on hand include: a properly inflated spare tire; ice scraper; windshield de-icer; flashlight; blanket; extra clothes; bottled water; cell phone car charger and non-perishable snacks.
*Be on the defensive. Take a defensive position against winter driving conditions, and take care of your tires. Once it gets cold, tire tread and pressure should be checked weekly. A tire’s PSI measurement can drop one pound for every 10-degree drop in temperature. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider installing winter tires, which are specially designed to grip slick roads.
*Be diligent. Use common sense during adverse road conditions. Reduce your driving speed, and increase your following distance in hazardous winter weather. If you get stuck in the snow, don’t spin your tires — this can overheat them and possibly cause damage. Use sand, gravel, kitty litter, an asphalt shingle or other gritty items to help your tires gain traction when stuck.

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