Car Car Tips & Other News

Impaired driving remains key concern, hazard for motorists

Drunken driving has plummeted in recent years but that doesn’t mean there’s fewer impaired motorists on the road.

Recent government studies indicate that while drunken driving is at its lowest rate since the early 1970s, people are taking to the wheel while high on marijuana or after popping prescription pills.

Road Rage: Tips to help drivers keep their cool

Adults juggling a mortgage, career and family sometimes struggle to keep their temper in check while driving. Imagine the difficulty for teenagers with minimal driving experience when they grapple with road rage.

“People in our society become adults at the age of 18 but in terms of brain development teenagers don’t have access to normal full adult executive function,” said Dr. Bob Nemerovski, a Bay Area psychologist and expert on road rage.

Improve Value of Your Vehicle with a Simple Facelift

Removing small dents improves value of vehicle

Dents and dings are a scourge for anyone who values their vehicle’s appearance. What can be done to return a vehicle to its original condition and not max out your credit card?

“Paintless dent repair may be 50 to 60 percent less than the cost of traditional body shop repair and could be faster,” said Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the National Auto Body Council. “It can be an affordable way of handling many dings and minor dents.”

Wear and tear is unavoidable but that doesn’t mean have to live with a banged up exterior.

Plug into a better understanding of your vehicle

You can’t get much information by looking at the little yellow “check engine” light on your dashboard. And there’s good reason for that.

The icon represents literally hundreds of potential problems ranging from simple fixes to complete overhauls. Automotive technicians rely on expensive diagnostic tools to root out the problem.

Consumer tools allow drivers to open up the mysterious world of “check engine light” codes, though they should still turn to the professionals for service.

Avoid vehicle breakdown with semi-annual check-up

Nobody likes to be caught off-guard, especially with vehicle problems. Getting a multi-point inspection should come well before packing up for that road trip this summer.

“Surveys of our certified technicians show a well-maintained vehicle lasts longer, retains more of its resale value, pollutes less, and gets better mileage than one that’s been neglected — to say nothing of being safer to operate,” said Tony Molla, vice president of communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Hazard Ahead: Tips for Avoiding Road Debris

Never underestimate the destructive power of an inanimate object in the roadway. A shredded tire--or any large debris--poses significant risks to you and your vehicle.

“Road debris can be damaging to vehicles, especially if it’s kicked up by someone else and becomes airborne,” said Noel Houze, the national secretary for the American Association of State Troopers. “Also, how people react to objects in the roadway can be dangerous.”

Houze suggests maintaining a safe following distance of several car lengths to stay on the lookout for road debris.

Driving Lenses Add Practicality, Anti-Glare to Looking Cool

Driving glasses reduce glare for improved visibility

Corey Hart wears his at night and the sharp-dressed members of ZZ Top prefer them cheap. Their popular tunes on sunglasses make for enjoyable listening but don’t help when making the best choice for driving.

“Sunglasses are so important people tend to include them in their mental checklist with wallet and cell phone before they leave the house,” said Bill Yerby, director of sales and marketing for Serengeti Eyewear. “While glare is the biggest issue, eye strain caused by harsh light and squinting presents a real and pervasive hazard for drivers.”

Listen for Sounds of Spring...and 'Ping'...and 'Knock, Knock'

Cars making unusual noises should be inspected

By Tony Molla

Modern vehicles are designed to run quietly and efficiently, so unusual noises usually indicate trouble is brewing.

But what do those noises mean, and how do you know which are the sounds of a potentially serious problem?

Hitting the Road with Bugs Bunny and Friends

Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are hitting the road this year.

The tour is part of an exhibit honoring Chuck Jones, their relatively obscure yet influential and amazingly talented creator.

Jones entertained millions without ever being directly involved in their lives. The artist and writer during the golden age of Warner Bros. cartoons introduced us to beloved characters who quickly became cultural touchstones. His work is the subject of a travelling Smithsonian exhibit crisscrossing the nation the next few years.

Bring the Sparkle Back to Your Vehicle This Spring

Wash away damaging winter road grime

Not getting stranded was probably your biggest driving concern this winter. Now that spring has rolled around and the sun has returned, chances are you’re seeing the toll nature took on your vehicle.

“All winter you’re taking steps to make sure your battery starts each morning and having the right tires to deal with snow and ice,” said Mike Deddo, a senior chemist for Turtle Wax. “Then spring comes around and you’re thinking ‘my car’s a mess, what am I gonna do?’”