Getting Your Car Ready for School

It’s back-to-school time and the Car Care Council wants to help families get their vehicles ready for car pools, playdates, soccer games and more. An informative new video from the non-profit organization provides motorists a with a five-point checklist to be performed before the start of the school year.

“There is always a lot to do before school starts and making sure your vehicle is running safely and efficiently should be at the top of that ‘to-do’ list,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Our new back-to-school video offers maintenance and safety tips to help parents and their precious passengers travel safely to and from school and all kinds of activities.”

Produced in conjunction with AutoNetTV (ANTV), the Car Care Council’s Back to School video highlights five areas that should be checked to make sure vehicles are kid-safe and road ready:

  1. Check lights and wipers for visibility.With shorter days and inclement weather ahead, make sure lights and wipers function properly so that you can see and be seen. Check wiper blades for signs of wear and replace if necessary.
  2. Get an annual brake inspection. The braking system is your car’s most important safety feature. Before carpool season gets in full swing, make sure that your brakes are functioning properly. Schedule a brake inspection and look for warning signs that your vehicle may need brake service, such as an illuminated brake light or screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.
  3. Check tires for under inflation or excessive wear.Check tire pressure and refill underinflated tires, including the spare, and look for uneven wear and check tread depth.
  4. Make sure everyone is buckled up. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website has important tips on seat belt fit and position. For the younger ones riding along, the site has information about how to install car seats as well as guidelines on selecting a car seat or booster based on your child’s age and size.
  5. Consider a back-up detection device.Consider having a back-up detection device installed that provides rearview video or warning sounds when moving in reverse. While drivers should not rely solely on these devices, they can help to reduce the risk of back-over incidents along with following other prevention tips from NHTSA.

To learn more about keeping your vehicle in safe, dependable working condition, visit www.carcare.org and follow the Car Care Council on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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 the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.

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Four Steps for Sending Your Car Away to College

Seeing your child off to college is an emotional transition, especially if they are going far away from home. Sending them away in the family vehicle can create even more worry and stress. A little advance planning and a well-maintained vehicle can offer peace-of-mind to parents, says the non-profit Car Care Council

  1. Get a sendoff vehicle inspection: College is a busy time for students and it is likely that car care at college will not be top of mind. Be sure to schedule a thorough vehicle inspection before packing up the car so you can rest easy knowing your child is driving a road-ready vehicle.
  2. Make an emergency plan: Discuss a plan with your child in case they experience a roadside emergency. Be sure they know who to contact for roadside assistance and stock the car with an emergency kit, including jumper cables, emergency flares, a flashlight with batteries, blankets and extra clothes, water and non-perishable snacks, a first aid kit, a portable USB charger and a fully charged cell phone. To be prepared for inclement weather, include an ice scraper, a snow brush and small shovel.
  3. Hit the books: Encourage your child to learn about auto care by reviewing the Car Care Council’s online Car Care Guide and becoming familiar with the owner’s manual. The printed Car Care Guide fits easily in a glove compartment and covers the most common preventive maintenance occasions and procedures that should be performed to keep cars safe, dependable and efficient.
  4. Stay on schedule: To stay on top of routine vehicle maintenance, sign up for the council’s free Custom Service Schedule and receive email service reminders and recall notices so that you and your child are aware of any issues and can address them in a timely fashion.

The Car Care Council has introduced a new video, produced in conjunction with AutoNetTV (ANTV), with tips for parents, college-bound students and their vehicles. To learn more about keeping your vehicle in safe, dependable working condition, visit www.carcare.org or follow the Car Care Council on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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 the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.

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Spark Plugs Need to Be Replaced Periodically

That little engine part called the spark plug performs a huge job in delivering a vehicle’s power, performance, dependability and fuel efficiency and, according to the non-profit Car Care Council, should be replaced periodically.

“Spark plugs are one of the hardest working parts of a vehicle. A spark plug can fire 400 times per minute per cylinder or 1,600 times a minute on a four-cylinder engine,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Many car owners delay spark plug repair on their vehicles, even after they have failed. This is a mistake since fouled, damaged or worn out spark plugs can lead to engine damage, reduced fuel efficiency and poor performance like misfiring, hard starting and sluggish acceleration.”

If you spot any of the following symptoms, the Car Care Council recommends having your vehicle checked to prevent more costly problems from developing.

  • Rattling, pinging or knocking noises. When spark plugs begin to misfire, you may notice unusual noises from the force of the pistons and combustion not working properly. Pistons travel at high velocities; if the spark plug fires at the wrong time, this could lead to constant rattling, pinging or knocking sounds.
  • Hard vehicle start. If your car is having trouble starting or just feels disjointed and jerky, your spark plugs may not be working right. This can lead to misfires and erratic performance.
  • Reduced performance. Spark plugs fire when you accelerate and change gears. If the spark that the plug generates isn’t functioning at 100 percent, your vehicle performance will be poor, and you’ll experience a sluggish and fuel-wasting drive.
  • Poor fuel economy. Lots of things can lead to poor fuel economy. In the case of old spark plugs, fuel is wasted because your vehicle fails to receive the proper, heat-generating spark at the right time.

The Car Care Council recommends that consumers consult their owner’s manual for the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended spark plug replacement intervals. The council also recommends replacing all of the plugs at the same time and with the same type of spark plug that the vehicle was originally equipped.

“Replacing spark plugs is a relatively inexpensive maintenance task and can be performed by a do-it-yourselfer or by a professional technician at any auto repair shop,” said White.

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 the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.

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Pre-Trip Check Helps Avoid Road Trip Breakdown

School’s out for summer and your family is ready for a much needed summer vacation. But is your vehicle ready for the road? A new video from the non-profit Car Care Council explains the importance of a pre-trip vehicle check and the steps to be taken to be road-trip ready.

“A pre-trip vehicle check helps determine if a vehicle is ready for the road so you can avoid the inconvenience, potential safety hazards and unplanned expense of breaking down miles from home,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “With summer vacation upon us, a thorough vehicle inspection will give you peace of mind and make your journey safer.”

The Car Care Council’s new video, produced in conjunction with AutoNetTV Media (ANTV), recommends a thorough vehicle inspection before hitting the highway, including filters, fluids, belts, hoses, tires, battery and brake system.

The Car Care Council also suggests that vehicle owners check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website at www.nhtsa.gov/recalls to see if there are any recalls on their vehicles. By entering the VIN number, motorists can see if their car has any defects before leaving on vacation. NHSTA reminds motorists to buckle up for every trip, every time. When traveling with a child, it’s safest for them to ride in a car seat suited for their size and age, and all children 13 and younger should ride in the back seat.

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 the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.

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Small Windshield Chip Can Cause Big Problems

 

If your vehicle’s windshield has a small chip or crack, don’t ignore it, fix it. According to the non-profit Car Care Council, disregarding a small crack now could lead to bigger problems later.

“Windshield damage may happen unexpectedly, and should be fixed as soon as possible,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A neglected small chip or crack can turn into a larger one, requiring more costly windshield replacement. In addition, drivers could get ticketed and fined if the crack obstructs vision.”

When a vehicle owner notices a problem with their windshield, they should not wait to get it fixed. A small chip or crack can grow larger, and if another item like a rock, golf ball or baseball hits the windshield, the damage can expand quickly, compromising safety and requiring full windshield replacement.

“Repairing a small chip or crack is inexpensive, easy and quick to fix, and the vehicle owner’s insurance may even pay for the repair,” said White. “Ignoring a windshield issue is like neglecting teeth cleaning and ending up with cavities or gum disease. With simple maintenance, you can avoid a much bigger, more expensive issue.”

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 the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.

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