Tag Archives: driving

Keeping your engine clean…

Car care tips…
Keeping your engine clean…

Tip #1
Use Heavy Duty Gel to cling to vertical surfaces. When degreasing areas under your car like differential covers or oil pans before you change out any of the functional fluids in your car.

Tip #3
Use any one of our Brake Parts Cleaners. Dissolve and flush away built up brake dust, caliper fluid, grease and oil from the parts you’re replacing to ensure a proper fit for your new brake parts.

Tip #2
Use Squeal Medic on your drums and rotors. Before you finish up your brake job to help stop any unwanted squeaks or squeals from starting while you brake in your new pads.

Tip #4
Use Bug-n-Tar remover in the summer months. When most insects get stuck to your grill, bumper and hood area to keep your painted surfaces and metals free from discoloration and corrosion problems caused by insects.

Fall car care checklist

By Tom Morr, automedia.com

Just as you should check your smoke detectors’ batteries every time autumn comes around, preventive car maintenance procedures can keep automotive disaster from striking. Depending on where you live, the weather can change overnight – for instance, Colorado often gets snow as early as Labor Day. So applying the Boy Scout motto to colder-weather motoring can make the difference between getting there and back – or not.

Car traveling down a road in fall with changing leaves

Fall car care checklist

Fall car maintenance

Year-round routine car maintenance is the best way to make your vehicle perform stronger and last longer. The regimen should include car tune-ups and inspection/replacement of worn belts and hoses. As the weather cools, consider changing to synthetic lubricants, which work across a wider temperature range than conventional oils. These high-tech oils cost more, so an alternative is to use lighter-weight oils in colder weather.

Cooling system

Consult your owner’s manual for proper coolant mix, which is often about a 60/40 antifreeze-to-water ratio. Another trick is to install a higher-temperature thermostat. This will improve heater performance and help the engine warm up faster. However, some computer-controlled vehicles might not be compatible with non-factory temperature thermostats.

Heater

Since the car heater and defroster work off the cooling system, check heater hoses while inspecting the radiator hoses. Coolant on the floorboard is one common sign of a leaky heater core. Also, vacuum/blow all leaves and debris out of the ducts.

Battery

If your battery has removable caps, make sure that all cells are filled with distilled water. Keep all battery terminals and cable ends clean. When jump-starting, never connect the jumper cables’ ground clamp to the dead battery’s negative post. Instead, use an engine-mounted bracket as the grounding location. In colder weather, this can keep a frozen battery from exploding.

Fuel system

Keep the gas tank as full as possible. Aside from the obvious, this limits condensation in the gas tank to minimize water – which can freeze – in the fuel line. “Antigel” additives are available, particularly for diesel-powered vehicles. On non-fuel-injected cars, keep the choke/carburetor butterfly lubricated so it won’t stick.

Windshield

Check the wiper blades for deterioration and consider upgrading to winter/snow blades. Park the blades before turning off the vehicle or lift them off the glass so they won’t freeze overnight. Fill the washer fluid reservoir with winter fluid, and never put hot water on a cold windshield.

Body

Waxing, particularly with a carnauba-based product, will help the paint withstand road salt and other foul-weather grime. Lubricate door hinges with silicone spray so they won’t squeak when the weather changes. Spraying the locks and weatherstripping will help keep doors and trunks from freezing shut.

Tires

Air condenses in cooler weather, and we’re all well-educated now on the hazards of underinflated tires. Keep tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendation on the sticker found in the glove box or on the doorjamb. Check the condition/inflation of the spare. Store snow tires horizontally during the off-season to prevent flat-spotting. Practice fitting snow chains before the start of winter.

Auto care products

Lastly, the automotive aftermarket unveils an array of cold-weather solutions every autumn. These products are designed to heat almost every aspect of your vehicle: from its coolant to its oil, from its battery to it locks and even its occupants. Always plan ahead to minimize the stress of cold-weather driving.

Tips for driving in the summer heat

 

Consumer Reports News: July 07, 2010 12:37 PM
  summer driving

It’s hot outside, but even hotter inside a car. On a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can quickly rise another 20 degrees in just the first 10 minutes. We all know the deadly consequences of leaving children or pets in a hot car. But in everyday driving, just getting in your car after it’s been parked in the sun for a while can be uncomfortable and has the potential to cause burns. Here are some tips on how to prepare for driving in the summer heat.

When parking, reducing the amount of sunlight coming in through the windows can minimize heat buildup inside the cabin:

  • Park in the shade if possible.
  • If you need to park in sunlight and you have a sunroof, close the shade.
  • Put a sunshade in the windshield and another over the rear seat window, especially if you’ll be carrying children in car seats. Folding-type shades are easy to store while driving.
  • If you’re parking in a secure area and there won’t be any rain, lower each window an inch or two. If you have a sunroof, you can leave it in the tilt position to provide extra ventilation.

When getting into your car, be careful not to burn yourself on hot surfaces:

  • Open the windows for the first few minutes to let buildup heat escape.
  • Bring a towel to sit on if you’re wearing shorts and have leather or vinyl seats.
  • Be careful when buckling up to not touch the metal part of the seatbelt as you can burn yourself.
  • Keep a light pair of gloves in the car if you find the steering wheel too hot to handle.

Driving in hot weather presents unique challenges for passengers and pets:

  • If carrying children or pets in the backseat, bring plenty of water and snacks, and plan to stop more often to tend to them.
  • Remember that the rear seat and cargo areas in SUVs, wagons, and minivans can be considerably warmer than the front-seat area. If you’re carrying passengers back there, and there are no backseat temperature controls, adjust the front a/c vents so they direct air to the rear.
  • If you’re headed to the store, bring a cooler bag to keep frozen items from melting or defrosting before you get home.
  • Keep in mind that high temperatures can mean power outages, which means that any gas stations that are affected could be out of service. Filling up in the morning will help you be ready for the unexpected.

For more advice on summer road travel, see our guide.

Liza Barth