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Tag Archive | "auto"

PREPARING FOR A WINTER STORM


At home:
Keep handy a battery-powered flashlight,  portable radio, extra food (canned or dried food is best), can opener, and bottled water (at least 3 gallons per person).
Make sure each member of the household has a warm coat, gloves, hat and water-resistant boots.  Ensure extra blankets and heavy clothes are available.
Keep on hand items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
Keep on hand items for your pets.  Animals feel the effects of wind chill.  Be sure to have suitable shelter with food and water.
Be aware of potential fire and carbon monoxide hazards if you plan to use an emergency heating source such as a fireplace, wood stove or space heater.
Outside:
Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow.  Sweating could lead to chill and hypothermia, an abnormally low body temperature. Cold weather also puts extra strain on the heart, so the elderly and those with heart conditions should be especially cautious when out in the cold.
Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks.
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight warm clothing in layers, with a waterproof outer layer.  Wear a wool hat and mittens.
Keep your clothes dry.  Change wet socks and clothing quickly to prevent loss of body heat.
Understand the hazards of wind chill.  As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person’s body more rapidly which could lead to severe hypothermia.
Automotive preparedness:
Be sure the vehicle is winterized by late fall.  This includes having the proper mix of antifreeze and water in the cooling system, topping off the windshield washing solution, and checking the tire treads.  Have a mechanic check the belts, hoses, tires, battery, and coolant.
Keep the fuel tank near full, as low fuel levels can cause condensation to form, degrading fuel quality and possibly causing the fuel line to freeze.  Additionally, gas stations may be closed during a severe winter storm, so it is wise to fill up if storm warnings are being broadcasted.
Your car should always be equipped with emergency supplies.  Keep the following items stored in a portable container:
•    A small battery powered radio (AM is sufficient) and extra batteries
•    Flashlight with extra batteries
•    Cellular phone
•    Windshield scraper
•    Jumper cables
•    Fire extinguisher
•    Maps
•    Shovel
•    Blanket and extra clothes
•    Flares
•    Bottled water and nonperishable, high energy foods (granola bars, canned nuts, raisins, hard candy, trail mix, peanut butter and crackers)
•    First aid kit
•    Tire repair kit and pump
•    Tow chain or rope
•    Phone book and phone list
•    De-icer and extra antifreeze
•     “Call Police” or other “Help” sign

Posted in SeasonalComments Off

Get your auto maintenance in gear


CAR-Getyourautomain(ARA) – In a tough economy, it’s only natural to look for ways to cut corners. But trimming auto maintenance expenses isn’t worth the risk. Taking proper care of your car steers you on the road to safe driving. It can help to keep more cash in your pocket too.

“Even the most cautious drivers are putting themselves in danger if they’re not driving a well-maintained vehicle,” says Charles Valinotti, senior vice president with QBE Regional Insurance. “No one wants to be in a less-than-road-worthy vehicle during an emergency.”

Most drivers are diligent about addressing major mechanical issues, especially since today’s cars have automatic alerts when a problem surfaces. However, many people overlook the basics – like tires – which can quickly outlive their usefulness. In recent surveys, The Rubber Manufacturers Association reported that nearly two out of three drivers do not know how to tell if their tires are bald and only 9 percent of vehicles have four properly inflated tires.

Valinotti warns that all too often windshield wipers go unnoticed until it is too late. “It’s usually after a nighttime auto accident where there’s bad weather and little visibility, when a driver realizes that they haven’t replaced their wiper blades in years,” he says. Holding off on an oil change or spark plug replacement is not worth compromising safety either.

In addition to the peace of mind that comes from having reliable tires, windshield wipers, brakes, suspension and steering systems, there are other benefits from proper car maintenance:

  • Save yourself from expensive car repairs after an accident that could’ve been prevented.
  • Extend your vehicle’s life span and avoiding replacement costs for big-ticket auto parts. Consult your owner’s manual to determine how often you should perform certain services on your car. If you take a long road trip or have greater wear and tear on your car, think of making a visit to your auto mechanic ahead of schedule.
  • Save money at the pump. If you drive a car with a poorly tuned engine or tires that aren’t properly inflated, you could find yourself filling up the gas tank more often. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environment Protection Agency.
  • Score some discounts on your auto insurance policy. “We encourage our customers to drive safely and invest in ongoing auto maintenance,” Valinotti says. “Our safe driver discount can take up to 10 percent off your premium.” Approximately 85 percent of vehicles insured by General Casualty, a QBE Regional Insurance company, get that reward. The safe driver discount is applied automatically and keeps rolling over each year you are accident or violation free.

In between scheduled maintenance checks with a mechanic, drivers should do routine checks on their own, too. It’s as simple as referring to the owner’s manual for instructions. A little more diligence with car care goes a long way.
Courtesy of ARAcontent

Posted in Auto LifeComments Off


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