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Road trip tire tips


CAR-Road-trip-tips1(BPT) – The weather’s heating up and that means one thing: road trips.

Before you grab the family and hit the highway, make sure your vehicle’s ready to roll. And the first place to check is actually what rolls – your tires. Often ignored – except when they are flat – tires are one of the most important components on any vehicle, and have an enormous effect on braking, steering, comfort, handling and fuel efficiency.

Car-Road-trip-tips2

Palang says the first thing to know is what type of tires you have and what they can do. “Most people have no idea and get confused because there are so many types and performance categories. By educating yourself about tires and how to maintain them, you will be able to save money and fuel, vastly improve your vehicle’s ride and handling, and better prepare yourself for the road ahead.”

According to Palang, tires are defined according to whether they are summer, all-season or winter tires. Summer tires offer excellent handling in dry and wet conditions. All-season tires are designed for varying road conditions that include moderately cold or low temperatures. Winter tires are best for conditions that call for improved cold weather and snow/ice performance.

To best match the type of tire with your driving needs, look for the performance category that meets your requirements the most:

* Ultra high-performance: Deliver superior high-speed traction and control with a firmer, sportier feel.

* High-performance: Engineered to provide crisp handling, responsive feedback and allow the tire to operate at higher speeds.

* Touring: Provides the ride and noise comfort of a standard passenger car tire.

“There’s a lot to consider when deciding on tires,” explains Palang. “You have to take into account how you drive, how far, weather and road conditions, how you want the vehicle to perform and so on. Plus, there are new tire technologies, such as the use of orange oil we put in our AVID Ascend, which creates a special compound resulting in a balance of long tread life, all-season handling and great fuel economy.”

For road trips or the daily commute, driving smart and maintaining your tires can save money at the gas station. Here are some of Palang’s tips:

* Keep your tires properly inflated. Once a month, when the tires are cold (at least three to four hours after the vehicle has been driven), check tire pressure with a reliable tire gauge. Be sure the valve stems have a plastic or metal cap to keep dirt out and seal against leakage.

* Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. An easy test: place a penny upside down into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire.

* Tire alignment should be checked once a year. Misaligned tires can cause the car to scrub, which lowers mileage and creates unnecessary tire wear.

* Slow down. All vehicles lose fuel economy at speeds above 55 mph. Driving 55 mph instead of 75 mph can reduce fuel costs by up to 25 percent. Driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph can save up to 13 percent.

* Turn off your engine if you’re stopped for more than a couple of minutes. Fuel efficiency savings of up to 19 percent are possible by not letting your engine idle too long while stationary.

* Blasting off from a stoplight and then slamming on the brakes to stop uses gas at a much faster rate. Accelerating less and slowing moderately can increase fuel efficiency by more than 30 percent. Also, many traffic lights are timed for efficient traffic flow, so you’ll hit more green lights in a row by maintaining the speed limit.

For additional tire care and safety tips, visit www.yokohamatire.com or www.rma.org.

 

 

 

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Taking a summer road trip?


Tips for making the best of nighttime driving

(ARA) Summer is a great time for a road trip. With kids out of school and longer hours of daylight, many families will head out on the highway to a variety of summer vacation destinations. For many, nighttime driving will be an unavoidable necessity if they want to make the most of their vacation time.

It’s important to keep nighttime travel as safe, comfortable and convenient as possible for everyone who rides in your vehicle. If you’ll be driving at night during this summer’s vacation, here are some tips to help ensure you enjoy good travels:

Prepare your vehicle

Before you begin your trip, make sure your vehicle is in top shape for traveling at night. Take care of any necessary repairs or maintenance, no matter how minor they seem, including things like checking that tires are properly inflated and the air filter is clean and functioning properly.

Visibility is an important consideration for night driving. All windows, headlights and taillights should be clean and unclouded. Check headlights to ensure they’re properly aimed; poorly aligned headlights can make it difficult for you to see the road, and can blind drivers in other vehicles.

Don’t overlook the importance of comfort and convenience. Outfit your vehicle with accessories that will make operating it in the dark as easy as possible. For example, the Access Truck Bed LED Light attaches to any 12V power source in a pickup truck, SUV, boat or camper, and allows you to easily see important cargo areas at night. And, since it can be difficult to reach the far corners of a large cargo area, consider a Cargo Management kit, which includes a reaching tool to help access hard-to-reach cargo, and truck bed pockets that create extra storage to secure items that might otherwise roll around in the bed of the truck.

Look after your passengers

Before setting out on your summer driving trip, be sure interior climate controls function properly and that all passengers have the proper safety restraints. Infants and children should ride in the back seat throughout the trip.

Although it may be tempting to allow children to lay down in back seats and sleep during night drives, children should be properly buckled up whenever traveling in a vehicle. Put infants and toddlers in car seats appropriate for their weight and age. If children are younger than 12, shorter than 4 feet 9 inches, or less than 80 pounds, they should use a booster seat, according to SafeKids.org.

Do provide accessories like neck pillows, nightlights and soothing music to encourage kids to rest during nighttime driving.

Take care of yourself

As the driver, you are the most important piece of safety equipment in the vehicle. Make sure you are well rested before setting out on the road. Update eyewear prescriptions and take all necessary medications with you inside the vehicle so you’re not tempted to skip a dose while driving.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, but never drink alcohol and drive. The National Safety Council also recommends you avoid smoking while driving, since the nicotine and carbon monoxide in smoke can hinder night vision.

Finally, avoid frustrated driving by minimizing distractions. Plan your route before you leave home so that you don’t have to deal with confusion over where you’re going or the distraction of trying to figure out directions while driving. Ask your passengers to take any incoming phone calls or texts on your phone, unless you’re driving in an area that prohibits cell phone use in the car.

Families across the country look forward to summer vacation. With a little preparation and a few well-chosen supplies and accessories, you can help ensure every hour on the road is as safe, convenient and enjoyable as possible.

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Adapt your vehicle and driving habits to combat rising gas prices


Looking for ways to save money at the pump? A truck bed cover can reduce drag and cut fuel consumption.


(ARA) Just as Americans are gearing up for warm-weather road trips and family vacations, prices at the gas pump are rising. For most people, driving is essential for getting to work, taking kids to school and going out to have some fun, so filling up the tank is a non-negotiable expense. However, costs add up quickly as fuel prices climb higher, taking up more of your budget.

If you want to keep your plans in place and your spending on track, it’s important to be smart about fuel consumption. Not everyone can afford to buy a new, ultra-fuel-efficient car, so making adjustments to your existing vehicle—and your driving habits—can help you stretch the dollars you spend at the pump.

* Drive mindfully: If you’re used to speeding up fast and braking at the last moment, you need to reconsider how you’re operating your vehicle. Those habits can drain your gas tank and send you back to the pump more often. Instead, make a conscious effort to accelerate and slow down gradually and use cruise control to maintain a constant speed, all of which will help to use fuel more efficiently. When possible, avoid idling and make plans for running errands, to cut down on the number of trips you take.

* Reduce drag: If you drive a truck, smoothing out the aerodynamics of your truck with a truck bed cover or a tonneau cover can make a big difference in fuel consumption. Covers are a simple solution that will give you immediate gas mileage improvement. The roll-up cover is lockable, so it protects your gear and improves the look of your vehicle in addition to reducing drag and bringing down your gas costs. Covers can be added easily with clamp-on installation and can be rolled up behind the cab when not in use.

* Choose wisely: You’re typically given three options at the pump, with a trio of gasolines with different octane levels and different prices. One of the simplest ways to cut costs is to opt for the lowest octane fuel that you can use in your vehicle. Making this change can save you hundreds of dollars per year, without sacrificing performance or gas mileage.

* Give your vehicle a check-up: Maintenance and mileage can go hand in hand, so it’s important to make sure that your car is in shape for saving fuel. Check and change your oil regularly. It’s an essential component in reducing wear caused by friction between moving parts in the engine. If it’s not clean, or if levels are low, your vehicle won’t be performing as efficiently as possible. Equally important to getting good mileage is the air pressure in your tires, which should be at the manufacturer’s recommended levels (often listed on the driver’s side door frame). Proper inflation can improve your gas mileage by up to 3 percent. A check of the air, oil and fuel filters should also be included in a check-up.

Making adjustments to your vehicle and the way you drive can be the best way to save yourself from going over budget on gasoline. Start with these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy the season the way you want to.

 

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Make sure your lights shine bright


From the driver’s seat, you may not notice a light that isn’t working, so be sure to inspect your car’s lights at every oil change.(NAPS)—Making sure your headlights are in proper working order should be a top priority before any road trip—whether you are going on an afternoon drive or heading off for vacation.

“Lights play a major role in safe driving, as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

Lights are normal-wear items that require periodic inspection and replacement. The lighting system provides nighttime visibility, signals and alerts other drivers, and supplies light for viewing instruments and the vehicle’s interior. From the driver’s seat, you may not notice a light that isn’t working, so be sure to inspect your car’s lights at every oil change. At the same time, inspect and replace wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during rain showers.

In addition to replacing dimming, rapidly blinking and non-functioning lights, the following tips can help keep you safe:

• Keep headlights, taillights and signal lights clean. External dirt and debris can dim operational lights from being seen by others.

• Make sure that your head-lights are properly aimed. Mis-aimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.

• Don’t overdrive your headlights. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area; otherwise, you are creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle.

• If there is any doubt about whether or not your headlights should be on, turn them on. Lights not only help you see better in early twilight, they also make it easier for other drivers to see you.

About the Car Care Council

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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