Car Care Council Urges Commuters to Maintain a Healthy Work-Drive Balance

Commutes to work are longer than ever, according to the most recent U.S. Census, with the average commute time up 20 percent since the Census began tracking this data in 1980. The more time we spend in our cars, the more important it becomes to make sure our vehicles are comfortable and safe places to be, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council has a number of tips for commuters to help ensure their trips to and from work are as enjoyable and worry-free as possible.

  • Change your cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is responsible for cleaning the air entering the passenger compartment. A functioning cabin air filter will help keep dirt, pollen, dust and exhaust fumes from entering your vehicle’s interior. Changing the cabin air filter at recommended intervals will allow you and your passengers to breathe clean air free from allergens and pollutants while commuting to and from work.
  • Maintain vehicle safety systems. A vehicle’s wipers, mirrors, lights and brakes are key safety features that require routine maintenance. To ensure that you can see and be seen while on the road, make sure all lights are properly functioning, mirrors are clean, and both are properly aligned. Replace wiper blades that are cracked, chattering or streaking in order to maintain a clean windshield. Because driving in stop-and-go traffic is hard on a vehicle’s braking system, have your brakes inspected regularly as brakes are your car’s most important safety feature.
  • A clean car makes a happy driver. The more time spent in the cars, the more likely dirt and clutter will collect inside. Maintaining a clean vehicle not only makes for a more comfortable drive, but it also contributes to a vehicle’s safety and longevity. Remember to keep the floors free of debris that may obstruct the foot pedals, and wash your car regularly to protect the paint, minimize rust and corrosion, and keep your windows clean for improved visibility.

The non-profit 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 http://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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Car Care for Christmas: Go the Extra Mile for a Driver in Your Life

In the era of online shopping when countless holiday gifts are available at the click of a button, putting in a little extra time and legwork can mean a lot. The Car Care Council offers these thoughtful and practical ideas for gift-givers who want to go beyond a simple mouse click for their family and friends this holiday season.

“We live such busy and stressful lives these days and sometimes simply taking a chore off of someone’s plate can be the most thoughtful gift,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The gift of car care will not only let your family and friends check an important task off their list, but it will help keep them safe on the road.”

An oil change and inspection: Regular oil changes are the best way to keep a car running in peak condition, but some drivers find it to be an onerous chore. If this sounds like someone you know, an oil change and inspection may be the perfect gift. Whether you take their car to a trusted professional technician or do it yourself, your family and friends will appreciate the time and effort you put into their gift.

A car wash and detail: Keeping a vehicle clean and detailed helps protect the paint, interior and wheels from harsh weather and damaging chemicals. A busy driver in your life will appreciate you taking the time to have their car professionally cleaned and detailed or doing it yourself.

A roadside emergency kit: For the traditionalist who can’t imagine a gift that isn’t wrapped up and under the tree, the Car Care Council suggests putting together a roadside emergency kit, including items such as 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; an ice scraper, snow brush and small shovel; and the council’s Car Care Guide, available free of charge at www.carcare.org.

The non-profit 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 http://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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Don’t Let Your Car Gobble up Your Hard-Earned Money

While you’re busy preparing for another holiday season, don’t let car care take a back seat. Neglected auto care almost always means much higher costs down the road in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value. The non-profit Car Care Council recommends that you be car care aware to ensure your car doesn’t gobble up your hard-earned money.

“If you’re like most people, you’re busier than ever this time of year and may find yourself putting off vehicle maintenance,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It’s important to remember that routine auto care means big savings by improving fuel economy, extending vehicle life and reducing the chance of costly car trouble.”

The Car Care Council suggests a quick vehicle check to help avoid the unplanned expense of a breakdown when traveling by car this holiday season.

  • Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
  • Check lighting to identify any problems with exterior and interior lighting, as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen.
  • Check wipers. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months. Make sure the windshield wipers are working properly and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.

The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit. To save on fuel costs during the trip, the council suggests that motorists avoid aggressive driving, observe the speed limit and avoid excessive idling. Gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing should be replaced to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.

The Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle this holiday season and throughout the year. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.

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 http://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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Arctic Blast Wake-Up Call: Winterize Your Vehicle Now

The recent record cold weather in a large part of the country should be a wake-up call to motorists who have not yet winterized their vehicles, warns the Car Care Council.

“Freezing cold temperatures can stress out a vehicle, as well as its driver,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The recent record low temperatures are a harsh reminder to be car care aware. Motorists should invest a little time now to check their vehicles so they have one less worry when arctic temperatures strike again.”

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 the 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 winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live 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. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.

Winter 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 again. 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.

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.

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 snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

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 http://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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See How #CarCare Saves You Money

A new video from the Car Care Council, entitled “Auto Care Goes a Long Way,” shows how vehicle owners can save money with some simple preventative maintenance.

“A little auto care can go a long way toward protecting your vehicle investment,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Neglecting your vehicle can be very costly in the form of more expensive repairs and loss of resale value down the road. The Car Care Council’s new video highlights easy ways to keep your vehicle running efficiently and safely.”

Introduced for Fall Car Care Month in October, the new video illustrates how addressing certain items like brakes, tires, belts and hoses and fluids, including oil, antifreeze, steering, brake, transmission and wiper fluids, will help keep your car running smoothly and efficiently, saving money at the gas pump. Other areas of the vehicle, such as heating and air conditioning systems, wipers and lights, should also be checked periodically.

Produced in conjunction with AutoNetTV Media (ANTV), the Car Care Council’s new video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLETdH1foDI and is also available in the ANTV digital management system for repair shops to share with their customers.

To help you get the most out of your vehicle investment and protect its long-term value, visit the Car Care Council’s website at www.carcare.org and sign up for the free custom service schedule.

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 http://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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