Car Car Tips & Other News

Wet Weather Brings Opportunity to Teach Teen Driving Safety

Help teen drivers by reviewing safey tips for the wet weather

Seasoned drivers bring two of the most important safety elements to vehicles--confidence and experience.

So how do you pass those traits along to young drivers in your family?

“Parents should use the changing weather conditions as an opportunity to go for a ride with their teen, to review and practice skills they’ll need to stay safe on the road,” said Kathy Bernstein, senior manager of teen driving initiatives for the National Safety Council, a non-profit advocacy group.

Protect your vehicle's finish with a pre-winter wax, polish

Waxing can prevent damage from bad weather

Waxing isn’t just for muscle cars on display at auto shows. Laying down a protective layer over clean paint helps your vehicle weather the snow, rain and salty roads of winter.

“Winter always has the harshest elements on the paint itself,” said Mike Pennington, a product expert for Meguiar’s, a company specializing in car care products. “A thorough washing and waxing before winter is crucial for the preservation of your vehicle’s exterior. It’s not just a job for summer.”

The Big Chill: Heating Problems May Indicate More Serious Issues

Your family doesn’t need to wear parkas to stay warm in your vehicle this winter. The climate control system may simply need some minor adjustments before traveling for the upcoming holidays.

“There’s any number of reasons why a heater or defroster isn’t working. Sometimes they are simple fixes, other times they are indicative of larger problems,” said Steve Schaeber, manager of service training for the Mobile Air Conditioning Society.

Repair Chips Before Cold Weather Causes Windshield to Crack

Prevent small chip from becoming a larger crack

A damaged windshield is more than just an eyesore. A small chip can become a sprawling crack that limits your visibility and lead to an expensive windshield replacement.

“Windshields are crucial for safety,” said Debra Levy, president of the Auto Glass Safety Council. “They are as important a safety feature as your brakes.”

Spare Tire Can Leave Family Out in the Cold During Holiday Travel

Holiday driving provides plenty of challenges even for experienced drivers. Imagine how a flat tire could ruin your plans to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.

“You should check your spare regularly because tires lose air pressure over time and the last thing you want is a flat spare when you really need it,” said Dan Zielinski, senior vice president of public affairs for the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

Simple tips to keep a clear view on the outside world

Replace wipe blades to reduce window streaking

You wouldn't watch a movie through broken glasses, so why drive with a cracked windshield?

“Maintaining visibility is crucial for driving safety,” said Ron Fausnight, technology specialist at RainX.

Don't let bad lenses lead you down a dark alley

Those bright bulbs in your headlights don’t help much if the plastic guarding them is cloudy and stained. Hazy lenses can dramatically reduce visibility, making night driving potentially hazardous.

Tune-ups: Why your vehicle needs a semi-annual check-up

Regular tune-ups prevent many major issues

By Tony Molla

Just like a doctor checks your general health, a tune up ensures your vehicle performs its best.

If your ‘Check Engine’ light is on, the shop can plug in a scan tool and look for trouble codes to see where the problem is. This can also be a good opportunity to inspect belts, hoses and connections, as well as search for leaks or parts that need to be replaced.

Fright night: When are teens ready to drive alone?

Having a license doesn't mean they've mastered the skill

Almost every teenager has heard the phrase “You need experience to get experience.” So how do teen drivers overcome the conundrum?

“Driving is a difficult skill that takes a good deal of experience to master,” said Kathy Bernstein of The National Safety Council. “Parents can and should continue to practice with their teen even after they get their license.”

Life-saving tips for traveling through school zones

School zones present special challenges for drivers of all ages, especially during the first few weeks of September.

“We want parents to make safety a top priority for their teens as they head back to school this fall,” said Ashley Sharaky, spokesperson for California’s Office of Traffic Safety. “Of course, these reminders apply not only to back-to-school season, but throughout the school year.”