Did you know that 3 out of 4 car seats are installed incorrectly. Make sure your child is safe by purchasing the appropriate car seat and reading directions for proper installation.
( Did you know ) Ever wonder what that little horseshoe-shaped icon with the exclamation point on your dash means? If your car’s model year is 2007 or later, that little icon pops up on your dash when your tires are underinflated. It’s all part of your car’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), a built-in mechanism that helps keep you safe and maximize your car’s performance.
Cars made after 2006 have either a direct or indirect TPMS, and while they both serve a similar purpose, they work just a little bit differently. On one hand, a direct TPMS has a pressure sensor on each tire that constantly reports each tire’s pressure. When under-inflation reaches 25 percent, that horseshoe-shaped icon will pop up on your dash.
On the other hand, most indirect TPMS measures tire pressure based on the rotational speed of each tire. Under-inflated tires have a slightly smaller diameter than properly inflated tires, which makes them rotate at different rates. With the help of wheel-speed sensors, the indirect TPMS alerts the driver of under-inflation based upon the difference in rotational speed.
Is tire pressure really that important?
You bet it is.
When your tires are under-inflated, your car becomes less fuel efficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, under-inflated tires decrease fuel efficiency by 0.3 percent for every one psi drop in the pressure of all four tires. Under-inflation also decreases the overall life of the tires. Under-inflation causes an increase of tire temperature, which not only causes the tires to wear out quicker, but also increases the chances of a blowout.
Additionally, under-inflation causes uneven tread wear and an uneven balance of load share among the tires. And when the weight of the car is unevenly distributed among the tires for an extended period of time, the car’s steering and alignment can suffer. Lastly, under-inflated tires simply make your tire treads less effective at handling wet road conditions, which can compromise your safety.
TPMS only alert you if the tire pressure drops below 25 percent, so be sure to check your tire pressure regularly using a tire pressure gauge. And if you’re a AAA member, you’ll receive a complementary tire pressure check and fill anytime you bring your car in for service at any AAA Car Care Center.
The brakes are the most important safety system on your vehicle. Proper maintenance and prompt attention to suspected problems ensure that your brakes will perform as designed.
Have the brake system inspected at every oil change. A typical inspection includes a fluid level and condition check, an inspection of the brake pads and/or shoes for wear, and a visual check for fluid leaks. The brake fluid level naturally falls as pads and shoes wear, but a drop below the minimum marking on the master cylinder reservoir could indicate a system leak.
Vehicle instrument panels have one or more brake system warning lights. Descriptions of common designs are provided below. Address a red light indicator immediately and a yellow light indicator as soon as possible. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific information.
The Brake Light – Can indicate the parking brake is applied, the brake fluid level is low, or there is a loss of pressure in one of the brake system hydraulic circuits. If the parking brake is off and the fluid is above the minimum level marking on the master cylinder reservoir, take the vehicle immediately to a shop for diagnosis.
The Handbrake Applied or Parking Light – Indicates the parking brake is applied and should be released before driving the vehicle. Driving with the parking brake on quickly causes brake overheating and damage.
The letters ABS – Indicates an anti-lock brake problem has disabled the system. The brakes operate normally and the vehicle is safe to drive, but should be taken to a shop for diagnosis and repair.
The Brake Pads Worn Light – Indicates the brake pads are worn and need to be replaced. The sensor that triggers this light usually must be replaced along with the brake pads.
The Brake Light Failure Light and/or the words BRAKE LIGHT – Indicates a burned out brake light. Certain systems also monitor other exterior bulbs.
Some disc brake pads are fitted with mechanical wear indicators that rub against the brake rotor creating a high-pitched squeaking or chirping noise indicating pads need to be replaced.
If applying the brakes on any vehicle yields a loud grinding or scraping noise, take it in for service immediately.
A light coating of rust may form on the brake rotors of vehicles parked overnight or longer in humid climates or seaside locations and cause a noise similar to metal-to-metal contact when applying the brakes. If it goes away after a few stops, there is no cause for concern.
Schedule a repair shop diagnosis if:
- the steering wheel shimmies or pulls to one side when applying the brakes.
- the vehicle continues to travel before braking begins.
- it takes extreme pressure to brake and slow down the vehicle.
- braking generates a pulsation.
Most brake services are performed as needed, but fluid replacement is often specified at two- or three-year intervals. Brake fluid is hygroscopic so it attracts and absorbs water. Moisture can corrode internal brake system parts, including the expensive anti-lock brake control unit. Moisture also lowers the fluid boiling point which can lead to brake “fade” under heavy-duty use.
When your vehicle requires maintenance or repair, trust a Approved Auto Repair facility to provide courteous and professional service.
( Did you know ) Know and follow all traffic rules, signs and signals. You need to be aware of the rules vehicles around you must follow to properly anticipate what drivers will do. This will help increase your safety.
Never assume a driver will give you the right of way. Make every effort to make eye contact with the driver of a stopped or approaching vehicle before entering the roadway.
Walk in Safe Places
Did you know that it takes months for a new paint job to completely harden? To protect a new paint job, treat the paint with plenty of extra TLC during the first 90 days after the paint has been applied.Auto Body & Collision
New testing from AAA has uncovered significant differences in the quality of gasoline sold at fuel retailers in the United States. The independent laboratory testing compared gasolines that meet TOP TIER™ standards often marketed to consumers as having enhanced, engine-cleaning detergent additives with gasoline brands that do not participate in the automaker-backed program. Among brands tested, non-TOP TIER gasolines caused 19 times more engine deposits than TOP TIER brands after just 4,000 miles of simulated driving. Such carbon deposits are known to reduce fuel economy, increase emissions and negatively impact vehicle performance, particularly on newer vehicles. To protect vehicle investments, AAA urges drivers to use a gasoline that meets TOP TIER standards for engine cleanliness and performance.
Summers a dangerous time for teen drivers. Here are important safety features teens should have on their vehicle!
Make sure you’re visible to drivers at all times and make eye contact with them whenever possible. This is especially important at night, in low-light conditions such as dusk or dawn or in inclement weather. According to NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 32 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
Wear lightly colored or reflective clothing at night and brightly colored clothing during the day.
Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
If possible, make eye contact with drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before you cross in front of them.
Stay Alert – Avoid Distractions
Distractions are everywhere today and becoming more and more difficult to avoid. Remember that, as a pedestrian, your eyes and ears are your best tools for keeping safe. Stay alert and watch out.
- Put down your phone. Smartphones and handheld electronic devices are a daily part of life, but they take your eyes off of the road and distract your attention.
- Don’t wear headphones. Your ears will tell you a lot about what is happening around you – be sure to use them.
Follow the Rules
- Know and follow all traffic rules, signs and signals. You need to be aware of the rules vehicles around you must follow to properly anticipate what drivers will do. This will help increase your safety.
- Never assume a driver will give you the right of way. Make every effort to make eye contact with the driver of a stopped or approaching vehicle before entering the roadway.
Walk in Safe Places
- Use crosswalks when crossing the street. If a crosswalk is unavailable, be sure to find the most well-lit spot on the road to cross and wait for a long enough gap in traffic to make it safely across the street.
- Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. If a sidewalk is not available, be sure to walk on the far side of the road facing traffic. This will help increase your visibility to drivers.
- Avoid walking along highways or other roadways where pedestrians are prohibited.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption
- Almost half of all traffic crashes resulting in pedestrian casualties involve alcohol consumption. Surprisingly, 34 percent of that total was on the part of the pedestrian. Alcohol impairs your decision-making skills, physical reflexes and other abilities just as much on your feet as it does behind the wheel.
( Did you know ) Are you one of the 40% of motorists who doesn’t carry an emergency kit? Pack the essentials before hitting the road this summer.
( Did you know ) Cars can get dirty very easily. Car exteriors seem to be magnets for dirt, road tar, tree sap, bird droppings and other contaminants. At the same time, vehicle interiors suffer from dirt, dust, pollen, moisture, spills, food particles, smoke and vinyl vapors that cause wear and tear, create unpleasant odors, and leave stains and deposits on interior surfaces and glass. Also, over time, both the outside and inside of a car can deteriorate from exposure to heat and ultraviolet rays from the sun.
The only way to combat these automotive enemies is regular cleaning and detailing, which makes a vehicle more attractive, extends its service life, and preserves more of its original value when it comes time to sell or trade.The Body Shop recommends washing a car every one to three weeks and waxing it two to four times a year, depending on vehicle use, road conditions and weather.
Basic car cleaning consists of exterior washing and waxing, interior vacuuming and dusting, glass cleaning, and applying various protective products. Detailing, performed by professionals and skilled do-it-yourselfers, takes cleaning to a higher level. The exterior may undergo several levels of paint treatment and protection, the interior carpets and upholstery are shampooed, and throughout the car every surface is cleaned and treated with products that restore a “like-new” appearance.
These The Body Shop recommended tips and resources on automotive cleaning and detailing can help keep your car in tip-toe shape.