Preventative maintenance now can help ensure worry-free driving this winter
The vacations are over, the kids are back in school and cooler evenings have begun. Take advantage of the lull to prepare your vehicle for the winter ahead, advise the pros and the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Breakdowns, never convenient, can be dangerous in cold weather period.
The following tips from ASE should give parent and student alike a road map to fall car care.
There are a number of times when people need to store a vehicle for an extended period of time. Maybe you have a convertible that you love to drive in the summer, but winter is on the way. Or perhaps you’re going to leave town for a job or an extended vacation. Maybe you are in the military and are being deployed overseas.
Whatever the reason for your time away from the vehicle, you’ll need to put it in storage. If you simply let your vehicle sit on the street or in a garage for an extended period of time, you may return to a dead battery or — worse yet — a damaged engine, ruined tires and a rat’s nest under your hood.
Here are important steps to take before you store a vehicle. They […]
You don’t have to travel far to take in the phenomenon of fall foliage. All across the U.S., from New England to the Pacific Northwest, deciduous trees put on their dazzling display of color. Leaf viewing is one of the easiest (and least expensive) ways to experience America’s awe-inspiring natural beauty. Check out our picks for the ten best destinations for fall foliage or get out there and discover your own.
It won’t be long before the weather gets iffy, if that time hasn’t already arrived. Driving safely during the fall months requires more than just cautious driver behavior. Your car also needs some attention.
Here are 10 practical tips to help get your car ready for fall.
It’s perhaps surprising, but true: Driving on a rainy day is more dangerous than driving on a snowy one. When the rain starts to fall and pavement is wet, your likelihood of a crash is higher than during wintry conditions like snow, sleet and ice, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
After averaging 10 years of statistics, NHTSA researchers found that 46 percent of weather-related crashes happened during rainfall, but just 17 percent while it was snowing or sleeting. Those statistics are partially explained, of course, by the fact that many drivers have the good sense to stay home during a bad snowstorm, says Debbie Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, which offers defensive driving courses. But the statistics also reflect a sobering truth, she says: Drivers […]
The Preventive Maintenance You Need to Do On Your Car (and When)
Regular preventive maintenance is probably the single thing you can do as a car owner to keep your ride happy and save money on repairs in the future. However, not everyone agrees on what preventive maintenance is, what you should do, and when you should do it. Let’s clear that up, and give you some tips that’ll apply to any vehicle.
Anyone who’s ever worked on cars or spent a ton of money getting their car repaired will tell you: Don’t ignore preventive maintenance. The basics, like changing your oil, checking your tire pressure, and getting scheduled inspections and work done are like getting regular checkups at the doctor. They keep you healthy and give you—and the experts—a chance to catch anything serious before it becomes a major problem. With your car, that can save you […]
Welcome to the Smash Lab: Where Cars Die So You Can Live
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Ruckersville, Virginia, has a history lesson in the lobby. That’s where it displays the 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air that it crashed into a 2009 Chevy Malibu to demonstrate the progress in safety over the past 50 years. The Malibu’s front end is annihilated, but its passenger compartment looks practically undisturbed. The Bel Air, however, looks like it cruised straight out of one of those gruesome old driver’s ed safety videos. Cue the voice-over: “Jimmy was on his way to the prom when he decided to try a little street racing …”
Cars are indisputably safer than ever, and that’s partly thanks to the work at the IIHS. The organization is funded by insurance companies, so its mandate is to identify problems and then essentially shame the […]
Report: Dealers won’t be the only ones hurt by used car recall bill
Getting recalls performed is important, and every single vehicle in CAR 1’s inventory has been checked for recalls and had them performed if possible. With that being said, we oppose legislation that would make it illegal to sell a used car that has an open recall, and a new report shows why consumers should be as well.
The National Association of Automobile Dealers is out with a report that claims consumers would be significantly hurt if a law banning used cars with recalls from being sold is enacted. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s proposal, the trade group claimed, could cost consumers anywhere from $1,210 to $5,713 per car.
The article notes that while current federal law prohibits the sale of new cars under recall until they are repaired, it does not require the same of […]
Payment Gap Between New and Used Hits All-Time High
Did you know that the average monthly payment for a new vehicle was $483, and that the gap between the average monthly payments for new and used vehicles during the second quarter of 2015 reached an all-time high?
That’s the word from Experian Automotive, and it has the experts saying more consumers will be driven to reconsider the cost of paying for a brand new vehicle:
“As the price of new vehicles continues to rise, and the gap between monthly payments for new and used vehicles widens, we see more and more consumers looking for ways to keep their vehicle payments affordable,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive finance. “This could be especially true for consumers who have the financial ability to pursue a new vehicle but may have sticker shock at the rising prices and don’t want the accompanying high monthly payments.”
At CAR 1, we have often said that our primary customer is […]
Thousands of Connected Cars to Roll Out Across U.S.
If these cars could talk, right? Well, soon they will. [Recently], transportation secretary Anthony Foxx announced the U.S.’s largest vehicle-to-vehicle pilot program. The $42 million project will roll out in New York City, Tampa, and Wyoming to cut down on traffic problems, and crashes.
The vehicle-to-vehicle technology has been in development in Ann Arbor, Michigan, since 2012, and uses a network of sensors that communicate over the wireless spectrum. The sensors can be added to vehicles and nearby infrastructure like traffic lights and stop signs.
The sensor-enabled vehicles will lead to an “unprecedented” amount of anonymous data, which could help to build smarter cities in the future. And in the meantime apps using the data could alert drivers if there’s a vehicle in their blind spot or when cars are braking up […]
Amazingly low monthly payments might make leasing seem like a no-brainer. But a closer look at the related costs of leasing (and its long-term expense) might convince some people to return to a good used car.
Leasing is presented as a quick, easy and affordable way to get into a new car. …But there are some fees that people often don’t take into account, and those can quickly add up. Furthermore, at the end of the lease term, you have to decide whether to start a new lease cycle. You might eventually become a “serial leaser”: someone who always has a car payment. Over a lifetime of driving, this can be costly.
Here is a list of other points that might make you choose used-car buying over new-car leasing.
With autumn’s shorter days, cooler temperatures and inclement weather drawing closer, now is a good time to get your car ready for the demands of the coming driving season.
Although some seasonal car maintenance will require the assistance of a qualified car mechanic, here are five, simple do-it-yourself car maintenance projects to make your auto better prepared for fall and save you the labor cost of having these services done by a mechanic.
Why U.S. isn’t ready for a law that grounds vehicles with open recalls
The idea of prohibiting the sale or rental of cars under recall has been bandied about by consumer advocates at both the federal and state level for some time. The most recent federal attempt, known as the Blumenthal Amendment for the Connecticut senator who sponsored it, was attached to a federal spending bill but didn’t get out of committee before Congress adjourned this summer.
The fundamental problem with the proposed prohibition is that all recalls are not created equal. Not selling a car because it has a defective airbag, or brakes that are known to fail, is one thing. Not selling a truck because it has has a typo in the owner’s manual, or a running board that’s not properly bolted on, is quite another.
Credit score has been a common topic of conversation over recent years. However, many do not understand exactly how credit can impact their life. The better your credit, the more likely you’re able to finance at a lower rate. Your credit score affects everything from financing or buying a car to buying a house. Here’s a look at how a good score can affect your life.
Divorce is often the catalyst for landing an ex-couple’s credit scores in the toilet. Last year Credit.com surveyed 526 divorced adults and found that more than 31 percent suffered a credit score drop following the break-up of their marriage. Especially for a lesser-earning spouse, or a spouse who did not work at the time of the split, securing a loan with attractive terms can be a real challenge. This can seem overwhelming if you are low on funds and need to buy a new car.
Even for those with severely damaged credit or no credit, period, all hope is not lost, says Matt Jones, Edmunds.com senior editor. “Even if your credit is wrecked in the divorce, you still have options for financing a car,” says Jones. “People with no credit are not always raked over the coals […]
Soon, Cars May Take Away the Keys of a Drunken Driver
In the near future, cars will communicate with one another on the road, partly or entirely drive themselves and be packed with more entertainment options than most computers.
But could technology also offer a solution for a scourge that kills nearly 10,000 Americans each year — drunken driving?
Regulators and the auto industry hope the answer is yes, and recently the Department of Transportation unveiled the latest steps toward developing anti-drunken-driving technology that would allow a car to detect drivers impaired by alcohol and stop them from turning on the car.
Safety recalls for automobiles sold in the U.S. are soaring, and that’s leaving many consumers wondering whether the big numbers mean automotive reliability and safety are declining.
It’s a valid question.
The number of passenger vehicle recalls in 2014 set a new record, 324 campaigns, exceeding the previous record of 224 campaigns in 2004 by almost 45 percent.
Worse than the climbing total of recall campaigns, though, is that the number of cars and light trucks subject to those recalls is soaring. More than 63 million passenger vehicles were recalled in 2014. That’s more than triple the total for 2013 and slightly more than double the 30 million vehicles recalled in 2004.
That doesn’t mean that car shoppers should put their buying plans on hold. Safety specialists, automakers and regulators alike insist […]
Here’s Why Real-World MPG Doesn’t Match EPA Ratings
Has this happened to you? You go shopping for a new car and great fuel economy is high on the list of things you want. You buy a car that’s rated 30 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg overall by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But after a month or so of driving around, you find that the best fuel efficiency you can get is a measly 24 mpg average. You might acknowledge that you drive a little faster than the speed limit, but you’re no hot-rodder.
So why doesn’t your fuel economy match the EPA rating?
A key element in assessing the EPA rating for a vehicle’s average fuel economy (EPA combined) is the split between highway and city driving. Almost all cars and trucks deliver better fuel economy while cruising at 55 mph on the open highway than they do while […]
Want to save fuel on those long summer highway drives? Don’t open the window. Crank up the air conditioning.
That’s just one of the useful — and frequently surprising — tips available from fueleconomy.gov , the go-to web site for information on fuel economy.
While running the AC does increase fuel consumption, it’s more efficient than driving with the windows open at highway speeds. The open windows increase the car’s aerodynamic drag, and that makes the engine work harder…
DETROIT — The golden age of the muscle car is now.
Despite strict emissions limits, concerns about climate change and unpredictable gasoline prices that would make a ’60s hot rodder pull over and weep, Detroit”s modern performance cars could run rings around the classics. And they’re surprisingly affordable when compared with price tags of some exotic cars with similarly high-performing engines.
“Back in the 1960s and ’70s, we were looking at 300-, 325-horsepower engines. Now you’ve got 500-, 600-, even 700-horsepower,” said Ken Gross, an automotive historian, museum consultant and journalist. “Never in my lifetime did I think I’d see the day when I could drive a 700-horsepower street car.”
Even the least powerful of today’s sporty cars — say a base V-6 Chevy Camaro, Mustang or Charger — could probably out-corner most 1960s muscle cars, which were renowned for their ability to accelerate, but not […]
Show Me The Way to Go Home: Memories of Grandpa Ed
It is impossible to sum up the life of a man who lived for 98 years, 3 months and 21 days in one or two blog posts. Truthfully, a book probably wouldn’t even do the job. But along with my short summary of his upbringing and work career, I wanted to write down a few other thoughts about Grandpa while they are still fresh in my mind.
Although he retired many years before, Grandpa continued to work daily at the family business, right up until 48 hours before he passed away. When we would ask him to do things, he would say “If you ask me to do it, I’ll do it, but if you tell me to do it, I’ll say no!”
Grandpa had a great sense of humor, and he was a bit of a prankster. Often times at work […]
Edward Daniel Baus, the 2nd generation of our family business, went to be with the Lord today, July 23, 2015.
Grandpa was the first generation of our Baus family to be born in America. He was the son of German Lutheran immigrants who had been living in Donhof, near Saratov, in the Volga River region of Russia. They emigrated to the United States one month before the Titanic disaster to escape religious persecution by the government. Grandpa first learned English when he went to public school in Wauseon, OH.
When Grandpa was 14, he began working on a farm ten miles away from his home – a farm in Burlington, just north of Archbold. He began attending school in Archbold his junior year and met his future wife, Leanna Nofzinger. The couple were married on March 4, 1939. Grandma preceded him in death by 21 […]
‘Our Kids Will Not Believe Humans Ever Drove Cars’
Do you remember a time before the internet, and a time before television? Now answer the same question for your parents. And do it again for your children.
Carl Bass, chief executive of software design group Autodesk ADSK -0.26% believes the same query will one day be posed about driverless cars.
“It will definitely happen,” he says.
We are as human beings particularly bad at driving. The range of human performance at driving is enormous. If you take Formula One drivers, they are superb athletes who can do things with a car that you and I can’t imagine and if you take a distracted person texting with a kid in the back seat screaming, we are absolutely awful drivers.
We don’t really ever say it to each other but we literally kill thousands of people […]
Many people have concerns about taking their cars on long trips, especially if their cars are getting on in years or mileage. Truth is, long trips are actually easier on your car than day-to-day driving — but a breakdown far from home can really ruin your fun. A few simple checks will stave off many common problems. As with most things, it’s best to start early.
Get any major repairs done. If your car needs major repair or maintenance, do it at least one month before you go. That will allow plenty of time for any problems related to the repair to pop up.
Get any scheduled maintenance done. If you think your car is going to come due for an oil change or other maintenance during your trip, get it done one week before your trip.
A recent post on an automotive website began like this:
“Pen in hand, you review the sales contract before signing for your new car. It all looks good except for one mysterious figure: the documentation fee or “doc fee.” In some states, this will be less than $100. But in others it can be higher than $700. What, exactly, are you getting for your money? And do you really have to pay this fee?”
This is a question too few buyers ask.
The dealer charges a documentation fee in exchange for filling out and filing paperwork for the car you are purchasing, as well as the vehicle you are trading (if applicable). This is a complicated process involving many different state and federally-mandated forms, and culminates with a trip to the Clerk of Courts […]
From Sea to Shining Sea: The Best Road Trips in the U.S.
There’s no better way to spend this sweltering season than on a road trip. The United States is brimming with the most beautiful and diverse views on the planet, from the glittering waters of the Pacific to the majestic Rocky Mountains and down to the mysterious swamps of the South.
There is a road trip for everyone, and we’ve compiled a list of routes that will take you anywhere. The slideshow shows you some of the must-see stops along the way. So what else makes these places so special? We explain, starting with Route 66.
According to most states’ laws, tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32″ of remaining tread depth. To help warn drivers that their tires have reached that point, tires sold in North America are required to have indicators molded into their tread design called “wear bars” which run across their tread pattern from their outside shoulder to inside shoulder. Wear bars are designed to visually connect the elements of the tire’s tread pattern and warn drivers when their tires no longer meet minimum tread depth requirements.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted a study showing significant evidence that distracted driving is an epidemic causing more serious traffic accidents among teen drivers than previously known – playing a role in 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe crashes. That number is four times that of official estimates stemming from police reports.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), distracted driving describes anything that takes your attention away from the act of driving. The list of distractions isn’t limited to texting. In fact, it’s an issue that predates cell phones entirely. Beyond chatting on the phone or texting, distractions include acts as simple as having a conversation with a passenger, singing, applying make-up, reaching for an object, using a knee to steer or even thinking about something other than driving. The CDC attributes […]
There is little denying that summers can take a toll on your car. So here’s a list of tips to help your car beat the heat.
1. Essential Checklist:
a. People often tend to be overlook the condition of their car’s tires. An under-inflated tire tends to protrude and put unnecessary pressure on the sidewalls that can cause the tire to eventually blow. On the other hand, an over-inflated tire lead to lack of grip.
b. Other than tire pressure, car owners must also check for worn-out treads. You can either use a tire tread depth gauge or use a penny to check if the depth is within the advised limits.
c. Check the car’s oil, for it not only helps the engine run, but also keeps its parts clean and cool.
Cyber Security Strategies on the Rise for the Automotive World
As computers become more and more integrated with vehicle technology, concerns are being raised about the possibility of automotive-focused cyber attacks. From air bags to theft protection, navigation to ignition timing and many areas in between, computers aid in controlling various aspects of your vehicle. The good news is that there are already steps being taken to prevent attacks to these systems before they even begin.
What automotive technologies will go from science fiction to commonplace in just the next 5 years? The rate at which technology is changing personal transportation accelerates every year, which can make predicting the arrival of future car tech a dicey proposition. I’ve listed these below in an effort to identify the top 10 advanced car technologies we’ll see in showrooms by 2020.
5 unbelievably easy ways to get better gas mileage this summer
Gas prices historically rise with the temperature and so do the miles we drive. We head to the beach, transport kids to summer camps, take summer vacations and ferry college-bound students to explore university campuses. “With so much warm weather driving ahead, it pays to take steps to maximize the amount of miles you can get out of every gallon of gas,” says Bob Abram, product planning manager with Yokohama Tire Corporation. Fortunately, you don’t have to buy a hybrid to reduce the amount of gas you’ll use this summer. Try these unbelievably easy tips to improve your vehicle’s gas mileage…
Memorial Day Marks Start of Risky Driving Season for Teens
Memorial Day, summer’s kickoff, is often seen as a time to think about slowing down, relaxing, spending time with loved ones and taking to the open road for a break.
For families with teens, however, it’s got a darker side: teen driving deaths. Memorial Day marks the beginning of what many experts now call the “100 deadliest days” for traffic-related deaths of teens.
During all of 2012, 1,919 teens ages 15-19 died in crashes involving at least one teen driver, with 550 of those teens’ deaths (nearly 29 percent) taking place between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to the National Safety Council. It analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Another data analysis tells a similar story: In 2012, 2,823 teens ages 13-19 were killed in crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for […]
Crude oil prices determine around two-thirds of the price consumers pay at the pump every time they fill up and forecasts are showing the average price per barrel for Brent crude oil in 2015 to be around $68 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate is showing $63 per barrel. However, it’s important to understand that there are many factors that could change these numbers, as industry price forecasting is not an exact science.
The U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes, “Federal, state and local government taxes contribute to the retail price of gasoline. Additionally, county and city taxes may have a significant impact on the price of gas in certain locations”. Also, “Distribution, marketing, and retail dealer costs and profits are included in the retail price of gas. Most gas is shipped from the refinery first by pipeline to […]
When you’re looking for a new car, calculating monthly costs is imperative to ensure you’re not committing to spend beyond your means – especially when you consider that most car financing terms are up to around five and half years, according to Edmunds.com. For even the most modest of vehicles, when you add in things like maintenance costs, gas mileage and insurance, what once seemed like an affordable option can quickly become out of range for your budget. That’s why it’s important to establish how much you can truly afford to pay for your new vehicle while you’re still in the research phase. Here are some key factors to help you determine the right price range for your budget.
Top 10 Ways To Get Your Car Ready for Spring and Summer
Winter sweaters and boots have been packed away in favor of shorts and sandals. Has your vehicle benefited from the same maintenance you’ve performed on your closets? Warm weather means long weekend getaways and even longer vacation road trips, and taking the time to perform seasonal maintenance today can help avoid trouble later.
Here are 10 tips for spring and summer car care. In some cases, you’ll be able to perform these procedures yourself. Others are best done by a mechanic as part of a tune-up. Some will help your vehicle look better. Most will help it perform more efficiently and get better gas mileage.
Every year, as temperatures fluctuate between the deep freeze of winter and the thaw of spring in many areas of the country, the roads can quickly become pockmarked with holes (big and small) that can cause great damage to your car and tires. According to CBS News, AAA estimates that consumers typically spend $5 billion a year on repairs stemming from pothole damage. This phenomenon isn’t new, but with this year’s polar vortex, it certainly is starting to feel like we’ve reached a whole new level in this pothole plague.
Hitting a pothole with your car can cause a great deal of damage to your car, particularly to the tires, rims, suspension and chassis. Because of this, it’s imperative that you take the proper precautions to keep your car out of harm’s way. Obviously, […]
The five big steps you should take after a car accident
There are millions of car accidents in the United States each year, and many of them turn into he-said, she-said battles that can result in an innocent driver being blamed. Fortunately, if you’re one of the unlucky drivers on the road, you can play an important role in making sure the police and the insurance company get the most accurate picture of what actually happened. You already know about contacting the police, filing an accident report, and notifying your insurance company. But here are five steps that can literally save your financial hide should you be involved in an accident that results in a dispute, perhaps even landing you in a courtroom. READ MORE…
If you can think of it, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there’s an app for it. There are many ways that you can take advantage of your smartphone technology to enhance your driving experience. Here are some apps that can help you both on and off the road.
With a dash camera, you can record the road ahead of you while you drive, checking for either driving habits or allowing you to record an accident as it happens, protecting you from faulty claims should you need it. Fortunately, with the right app, your smartphone can serve as your dash cam whenever you get behind the wheel. Apps like Witness Driving records right through your windshield and also picks up vital data such as time, speed, GPS position and G-forces in a rolling loop that won’t […]
Need to boost your credit score? Unfortunately, a credit score isn’t like a race car, where you can rev the engine and almost instantly feel the result. Credit scores are more like your driving record: They take into account years of past behavior, not just your present actions. In addition to making the right moves, you also have to be consistent. A few easy steps can push your score in the right direction. Here are seven simple ways to improve your credit score.
Imagine going shopping for a whole new wardrobe and not trying on a single thing. That probably wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, right? And you’d be taking a gamble with your money before you knew whether or not the clothes you just bought will fit you the way that you want them to. The same logic can be said about buying a new car. Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to take it out on the road to determine if it truly fits your needs. READ MORE…
Many of today’s new cars have the latest gizmos for comfort, navigation and safety, but no car is really equipped until there are two basic staples in the glove box: a flashlight and a tire-pressure gauge. These are the first two of 17 items that drivers should have in their cars at all times for safety, for convenience and for the day the gizmos let them down. How many of these items are in your vehicle right now? Let’s take a look.
No one likes to admit that their car’s interior looks a bit like a landfill, but with families spending more time in their cars than ever before, it happens. A lot. But families deserve a clean, Zen-like interior (after all, an organized environment leads to an organized mind — or so they say).
Now is the time to do something about that item in the back of your car that goes “skssssssssss, thunk” every time your turn or brake. Now is the time to stop losing your mind over the empty to-go cups piling up in your cupholders (that you “forget” to remove for days). Now is the time to stop obsessing about the ground-in crackers in your floormats and just clean them up already. READ MORE…
Plenty of us hate night driving—there’s no feeling quite like getting someone else’s high beams shined in your eyes. But beyond the pure annoyance, few of us realize how dangerous it can be. Fatalities on the road occur at a rate three times greater at night than during the day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While only a quarter of all driving is done at night, more than half of all driving deaths occur then.
Your depth perception, ability to distinguish color, and peripheral vision are all worse in low-light conditions. You tend to be more tired at night. And consider a basic fact: Typical low beams illuminate the road from 160 to 250 feet in front of your car, and normal high beams shine from about 350 to 500 feet. […]