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Tag Archive | "car care"

Cold weather wake-up call


 

CAR-Cold-weather-wakeup-call(NAPSI)—The next nip in the air should be a wake-up call to motorists who have not yet gotten their vehicles set for the cold weather, say car care experts.

“Subzero temperatures can stress out a vehicle, as well as its driver,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Motorists should invest a little time to check over their vehicles so they have one less worry when arctic temperatures strike again.”

Here’s how:

  • For good visibility, make sure that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed. Also check to see that heaters, defrosters, lights and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. Wiper blades that are cracked or torn, or that chatter, streak and don’t properly clean your windshield, should be changed.
  • Very cold temperatures reduce a vehicle’s battery power so it’s important to keep the connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail completely, so if your vehicle’s battery is more than three years old, it’s wise to replace it.
  • Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in cold weather. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you’ll be driving in a cold climate. Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
  • Have the brakes inspected and check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. So snow and ice are not a problem, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
  • Rough weather magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling, so if you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before the temperatures drop. Also, clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system and have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.

Motorists should keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.

  • Lastly, stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snow brush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

Learn More

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s “Car Care Guide” or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

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When The Check Engine Light Is On, Don’t Ignore It


Don’t be in the dark about your engine’s problem when the check engine light goes on: Get it looked at soon.

Don’t be in the dark about your engine’s problem when the check engine light goes on: Get it looked at soon.

(NAPSI)—Don’t take this lightly: One of the most vital signals of an improperly functioning vehicle is the check engine light and, when illuminated, it alerts the driver to a variety of existing potential problems. Nevertheless, vehicle checkups during car care events throughout the country reveal that the check engine light is on in nearly one out of 10 vehicles.

Some common malfunctions that can cause the check engine light to illuminate include a faulty oxygen sensor, mass airflow 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.

“When the check engine light comes on, it means that a vehicle system such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally,” explained Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council, the source for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign promoting regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair.

“A glowing check engine light doesn’t mean you have to immediately pull the car to the side of the road, but it does mean you should get the car checked out as soon as possible. Ignoring the warning light could result in costly repairs. At the very least, the light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy,” he added.

When scheduling service, make sure the automotive 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 indicate why the light was activated.

At the same time, the technician can analyze idle speed, throttle response, engine temperature, fuel system pressure, manifold vacuum, exhaust emission levels and many other key indicators. Once the problem is fixed, the car’s computer is reset to initiate its release process. The technician should then be able to tell you what needs to be done and discuss potential warranty coverage and further testing, if necessary.

Learn More

For a free “Car Care Guide” or for further information, visit www.carcare.org.

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