Have you ever parked your car at the office or grocery store only to come back and find that a ‘helpful’ citizen has written ‘please wash me’ across the back?
It’s funny when that message is on someone else’s auto, but it’s extremely disheartening when that mud-caked dust-adorned vehicle belongs to you.
With a busy schedule and seemingly more important things to do, washing your auto often falls by the wayside-
The general rule of thumb is to wash your car every two weeks or so. There are special circumstances that might increase or decrease that frequency. If you live in a part of the country where some of the aforementioned hazards are quite common, you’ll need to wash your vehicle more regularly. If you keep it in a garage and only drive once or twice a month, such regular washing might not be necessary.
What’s important is that you take care of your vehicle—yes, even its outside. Washing your car frequently is a great and ultimately inexpensive way of protecting your investment in it.
Car-Lotta wants you to make sure you’re setting aside some time for routine washes!
Fog is one of the most unpredictable weather conditions. Your view can be clear one minute and cloudy the next. Because after all, what is fog? — a cloud on the ground.
Driving through dense fog can feel like you’re driving blindfolded. You can’t control the weather but you can control how you drive in unpredictable conditions like fog.
HERE ARE FIVE TIPS TO HELP YOU DRIVE SAFELY THROUGH THE FOG:
Slow down.Traveling at a reduced speed will give you more time to react and minimize the potential for any impact. If you think you’ll be driving in foggy conditions, be sure to allow extra drive time to make it to your destination safely.
Brighten up.Turning on your headlights will help you see the road ahead, while helping others see you. And as their name suggests, fog lights also increase visibility by shining more light closer to the road surface. Just avoid using your high beams, which actually reduce visibility by producing glare.
Leave some space.Low visibility can lead to slower reaction times. Increase the distance between you and the vehicles ahead to help account for any sudden stops.
Follow the lines.In dense fog, you won’t always be able to rely on what you see ahead. If your visibility is limited, focus on the road markings to make sure you’re staying in your lane.
Pull over.If you can’t see in front of you, the best course of action may be to pull over. Turn on your hazard lights and pull off the roadway in a safe location, like a rest stop or parking lot. Then, wait until conditions improve.
Car-Lotta hopes these driving tips can help you navigate the foggiest of situations.
Would You Know What TO Do If Your Vehicle Overheats?
Mon, 08 Jul 2019 12:00:00 +0000
Outside temperatures climb during the summer months.Temperatures inside your vehicle’s engine bay can near 200 degrees. In this type of heat, it’s important to keep your engine cool.
Your vehicles cooling system is usually up to the task. If the needle of your temperature gauge rises or you spot steam coming from under your hood, your car may be overheating.
When your auto overheats, it often means something is wrong with one of the cooling system components, which includes your fan, radiator, thermostat, hoses and coolant.
Here are a few steps you can take to help track down your problem and get back on the road.
Turn up the heat.While it may seem counterintuitive, turning your heat on full blast can actually help disperse the heat coming from your engine.
Find a safe place to pull over.Driving your car when its overheating can cause serious – and sometimes permanent – damage to your engine, so it’s best to stop driving as soon as possible. Pull over, away from oncoming traffic, then turn off your engine.
Open your hood.After parking your car, open your hood to let excess heat escape – then, stay back to let things cool down. Never touch a hot engine with your bare hands!
Look for leaks.You may not be a mechanic, but some cooling system issues aren’t difficult to identify. Look at your radiator and hoses to see if you can find leaking coolant.
Fill your coolant.If you can’t find a leak, you may be low on coolant. To check your coolant level, you’ll need to remove your radiator cap –but only after your engine has cooled off. Once your engine is cool, use a towel to slowly remove the cap. Your coolant should reach the top of the radiator. If it doesn’t, top it off. And be sure to check the plastic coolant expansion tank, if your car has one. Most cars use a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze, but you can just add room temperature water as a temporary fix.
If your car was low on coolant, you can start it back up after topping it off. Keep an eye on your temperature gauge to ensure that it is in a safe range. If you found a coolant leak, or your coolant was full, it may be time to call your mechanic.
If you’ve ever been forced to parallel park your vehicle, chances are these thoughts have crossed your mind. It’s sometimes an intimidating and frustrating task. The potential for embarrassment can leave you wanting to just find somewhere else to park.But in some cases, parallel parking may be necessary.
Here are a few steps to help master the art of parallel parking:
Find a spot where parking is permitted.Check your local laws for specifics. In general, you’re usually not allowed to park on a sidewalk, crosswalk or bridge; in an intersection; or blocking a driveway or alley. You also can’t park too close to a fire hydrant or stop/yield sign, though the allowed distance tends to vary by state.
Be aware of your surroundings.Use your turn signal before parking and make sure to check your mirrors before coming to a stop.
Align your car.Pull up directly next to the vehicle that will be in front of you.
Back up.First, check behind you again to make sure there are no pedestrians or oncoming cars. Then, begin back up while turning your wheel to the right. (Just make sure you don’t clip the vehicle in front of you.)
Straighten it out.Once your front door passes the back bumper of the vehicle, straighten your wheels and keep backing up.
Pull in tight.Turn your wheel sharply to the left when your vehicle is completely clear of the one ahead. Back up slowly until you reach the vehicle behind you.
Center your vehicle. Turn your front wheels sharply to the right and center your vehicle in the parking spot.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. But follow these steps and with a little bit of practice, you’ll be well on your way to parallel parking like a pro.
Car-Lotta reminds you ...… If you’re on a hill, be sure to set your parking brake and turn your wheel left so your tires make contact with the curb. This will help protect your vehicle from going into oncoming traffic if anything goes wrong.
If you or someone you love requires emergency assistance, you want help to arrive as quickly and safely as possible. You can help first responders reach an emergency as quickly as possible and it is as simple as pulling to the right for sirens and lights.
Some people see an emergency vehicles with activated lights and sirens panic or simply do not adhere to the rules of the road. Drivers must yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle. Failure to do so can cause serious accidents or delays for paramedics, firefighters and police officers arriving at the scene of an emergency. First responders are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by passing vehicles on the left, driving slowly when traveling against traffic or coming to a complete stop at intersections if necessary. The cooperation of ALL drivers on the roadway is critical for everyone’s safety.
There are a few simple steps and rules to follow when you are on the road and encounter emergency vehicles responding to a scene:
Pull to the right and come to a complete stop.
If you are traveling on a high-speed road or if there is no room to stop, move to the right and slow down as much as possible.
If you are in the left lane, move over into the right lane as other traffic in the right lane moves over and stops.
If you cannot move to the right because of another vehicle or obstacle, just stop. Your action will let the driver of the emergency vehicle know what you are doing and allow the driver to anticipate where to drive.
When an emergency vehicle approaches you from behind while you are stopped at an intersection, stay where you are unless you can pull to the right.
On a four-lane highway or street without barriers, both sides of traffic should pull to the right.
Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working.
Drivers should stay at least 500 feet behind emergency vehicles.
There are several actions you should avoid when encountering a responding emergency vehicle:
Do not panic.
Do not play your radio so loudly that you are unable to hear sirens.
Do not drive distracted.
Do not stop in the middle of your lane when there is room to pull to the right.
Do not pull to the left into the center turn lane, left turn lane or into oncoming traffic.
Do not race ahead to make the green light or turn before the emergency vehicle gets there.
Do not turn quickly to the left onto a side street or driveway.
Do not drive through a red light or stop sign when an emergency vehicle approaches from behind.
Do not disregard the presence of the emergency vehicle by continuing to drive.
Car-Lotta reminds you that during emergencies, seconds count. Following these rules, you can assist both first responders and victims of emergency situations. Speak with your local first responders for more information.
With the busy summer travel season right around the corner, drivers are starting to notice higher prices at the pump!
f you’re trying to save as much money as you can, you may want to change the day of the week that you fill up.
After analyzing gas price data from January through March, reports indicate in Pennsylvania that Mondays offers the lowest average gas price making it the best day of the week to buy gas and Friday is the worst day to buy gas.
There is variation in daily gas prices across different states, the consensus is that the earlier motorists fill-up during the week, the better. Following Monday, Sunday is the cheapest day to fill-up. Conversely, Thursday follows Friday as the most expensive day to fill-up.
Car-Lotta wants to make sure you get all the info you need when making a purchase.
Summer heat can wreak havoc on a vehicle and its function. The warm weather, hot roads, long trips, and dry air combine to create a hostile work environment for your car. Here are a few things to consider as you hit the road during hot summer months.
Checking your tire pressure is an important things to do — especially during the summer months. Hot tires on hot pavement is a recipe for a blowout. If your tires are improperly inflated, the risk of catastrophic failure is even greater. Help prevent hazardous situations by checking your tires once a month and replacing them before they become dangerously worn. Hot weather can also shorten your battery’s usable life. The extra vibration from summer trips can also damage your battery. It’s always a good idea to carry a set of jumper cables, or even a battery jump box, so you don’t get stranded. Check your car’s battery terminals for corrosion, and make sure the battery itself is mounted securely.
Low coolant levels can literally kill your engine. Worn hoses or a damaged radiator can allow coolant to leak and engine temperatures to rise. Keep an especially close eye on your vehicle’s temperature gauge during summer months to prevent any overheating.
Every driver should put together a “summer breakdown kit”:
Water (one gallon per person)
First aid kit
Emergency blanket (doubles as shade)
Flashlight or headlamp
Basic tool kit
Pocket knife and/or multi-tool
Cell phone charger
Hazard signs and flares
Can of tire sealant
Shop towels or paper towels
Car-Lotta Credit and Car Sales reminds you to Drive Safe.... and enjoy your summer
Would You Know What To Do If You Were Driving And A Tornato Hit?
Mon, 03 Jun 2019 12:00:00 +0000
In the event of severe weather, it is important to know where a tornado could form and what safety precautions you should follow. You should know what to do if you are driving and become caught in severe weather.
Strong winds from a tornado are capable of picking up debris and depositing it miles away from where it was lifted. If winds are strong enough, vehicles can be blown over and picked up by the tornado.
Trying to outrun a tornado in your vehicle is the number one thing to remember NOT TO DO.
Trying to outrun a tornado is a bad idea because tornadoes have the potential to travel over 60 mph and they don't have to follow road patterns. Driving on a 90-degree angle away from the tornado is a good strategy to follow in order to distance yourself from the tornado.
A compass or GPS may be helpful to determine which way to drive on a 90-degree angle away from the storm.
If you see a tornado developing where you are driving, the best thing to do is to pull over and evacuate your vehicle. Seek shelter in the nearest sturdy building or storm shelter; do not hide under your car. The wind could potentially roll your car over.
If there is no available shelter, find the nearest ditch or low-lying area and crouch low to the ground covering your head with your arms.
Potentially sturdy structures to look for while driving are fast food restaurants and banks. Fast food restaurants will usually have a cooler that could withstand a tornado similar to a safe in a bank. Seeking shelter in an interior wall is also a good idea. The more walls between you and the tornado, the better off you are.
Underpasses may seem like a safe place to hide, but this is a myth, due to the fact that they are above ground. Winds from a tornado can accelerate through the small places of an underpass causing the potential for the underpass to collapse or your vehicle to be blown away.
Car-Lotta reminds you to know where you are and what counties have watches and warnings issued for them, and keep a watchful eye to the sky
Memorial Day is a United States Federal Holiday observed on the last Monday of May .
Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War. It was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.
It has become a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and marks the start of the summer vacation season!
Car-Lotta Credit Car Sales will be closed Monday, May 27th in observance of Memorial Day and will re open Tuesday, May 28th at 9:00 am.
Car belts typically do not begin to squeal unless they are worn out or they are not tight enough. Once a belt starts squealing it is best to have it replaced. While a belt dressing can offer a temporary fix while the driver is on the road, the belt is sure to squeal again soon before it finally gives and breaks.
One way to silence a squealing belt on a car is by spraying on a belt dressing. Belt dressing works as an adhesive to increase the friction between the belt and the pulley to help extend the life of the belt.
Car-Lotta reminds you that proper maintenance on your vehicle is important.
You know the great thing about driving a car with an automatic transmission? They’re so much fun. The thrill of shifting from park into drive is just exhilarating…said no one ever.
Here’s Car-Lotta Credits completely unscientific list of the benefits of driving stick shift:
1.You arein control.
2. It gets better gas mileage.One of the other benefits of driving stick shift is the possibility of boosting your fuel efficiency anywhere from 5 to 15 percent. How much you save depends on your driving style and the road conditions.
3. It’s cheaper to maintain.Generally speaking, manual transmissions are easier to maintain.Clutches tend to be the most common repair. But, again, depending on driving style and road conditions, you might not need to change one for hundreds of thousands of miles.
4. I’m less distracted.Between clutching and reminding myself to get back into first when I stop at a light, I don’t have time (or enough hands) to fiddle with my phone, eat and change a radio station at the same time. You’re welcome, fellow drivers.
5. It’s fun.It’s actually really, really fun. That’s as good a reason as any to learn something new.
6. No one’s going to steal you car.Estimates vary, but the average I’ve seen is that only about 5 to 6 percent of cars sold in the U.S. today have a manual transmission.
When you get into a car accident, there are certain steps you may want to take in order to help make sure everyone is safe, to follow the law and to get the insurance claim process started.
The following steps may help guide you through important decisions you need to make if you've been in an auto accident, whether you were at fault for the accident or not.
STEP 1: CHECK YOURSELF FOR INJURIES.
If you're injured, call 911 or ask someone else to do so. If you're seriously injured, try not to move, and wait for emergency personnel.
STEP 2: CHECK ON THE WELL-BEING OF YOUR PASSENGERS.
If you're not too hurt to move, check on the other passengers in your car. If anyone's injured, get on the phone with emergency services or ask a bystander to call for help.
STEP 3: GET TO SAFETY.
If you're able to, move to the side of the road or a sidewalk. If your car is safe to drive and is causing a hazard where it is, pull it to the side of the road. Otherwise, leave it where it is and get yourself to safety.
STEP 4: CALL 911. Whether an accident is considered a fender bender or a major collision, calling the police is important — and in some states, it's legally required. The responding officers will fill out an accident report and document the scene. If the police can't come to the scene of the accident, you can go to the nearest police station and complete a report yourself, according to the III. When you file a claim with your insurer, they may ask for a copy of the police report to help with the claims process.
STEP 5: WAIT FOR HELP. Turn off your engine, turn on your hazard lights and use the road flares in your emergency kit to warn other vehicles to slow down.
STEP 6: EXCHANGE INFORMATION. After making sure you and any passengers are uninjured, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. The most important information drivers should exchange after an accident:
Full name and contact information
Insurance company and policy number
Driver's license and license plate number
Type, color and model of vehicle
Location of accident
Avoid discussing fault when going over the facts with the other driver. When you file an insurance claim, the adjuster reviewing your claim will determine who's at fault based on an inspection of the vehicles/property damaged, information provided by you and the other parties involved in the accident, and any supporting documentation, like the police report or photographs from the scene.
STEP 7: DOCUMENT THE ACCIDENT.
In order to help protect yourself take the following steps:
Identify the officers. Once the police arrive, get the name and badge number of all responding officers.
Get a copy. Ask the police officers present where you can obtain a copy of the accident report. Your insurer may ask for a copy of the report when you file a car insurance claim.
Take pictures. Document the accident thoroughly by taking pictures of your vehicle from different angles, showing the damage done to both cars. It might also be a good idea to take pictures of the other car's license plate.
Take down names. Write down the names and addresses of all parties involved, including any passengers in the other vehicle.
Talk to witnesses. If there were any witnesses to the accident, take down their names and their contact information, as well.
STEP 8: NOTIFY YOUR INSURER AND START THE CLAIMS PROCESS.
You may want to call your insurance agent while you're at the scene. That way, they can tell you exactly what they will need to in order to process your claim.
An accident can leave even the most seasoned driver frazzled, but following these steps may help protect you from unnecessary worries. That way, you can focus on working with your insurance company to get your vehicle repaired as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
High school students tend to visit dealerships for vehicle service or to buy a car during the spring and summer months. A minor can purchase a vehicle, but the dealer should be aware of certain pitfalls.
Any vehicle contract with an individual under the age of 18 can be rendered null and void, as a minor may have the right to return a vehicle and demand reimbursement until the age of 18.
Dealers are advised to require a responsible adult to become the purchaser or co-purchaser of a vehicle.
Common questions on sales, service and insurance include:
Can a vehicle be registered in a minor's name? Yes. There is no age restriction to being registered as the owner or lessee of a vehicle.
What about a buyer's order, lease or rental agreement? It is advisable to have the minor and an adult, usually a parent, sign the buyer's order, lease or rental agreement, as well as financing documents.
Are there special disclosure requirements for sales to a minor? No. However, as minors often purchase lower-cost, used vehicles, dealers should explain the warranty, if any, and request an adult co-purchaser acknowledge all aspects of the sale in writing.
Do any special requirements apply to a minor's proof of insurance? The name(s) listed on the registration must correspond with the proof of insurance. The minor may own the vehicle and be covered by a parent's policy if the minor's name appears on the declaration page of the parent's insurance policy. If the minor's name does not appear on the proof of insurance document provided, a dealer must request further proof of coverage which does list the minor's name.
Winter is finally winding down. With more sun and rising temperatures comes an entirely different strategy for car care. Here are a few simple tips to help you care for your vehicle as winter makes way for spring.
Wash and Wax
A good, thorough wash and wax is the most important thing to do with your car once the winter is over. Winter driving can cause a huge amount of road grime, debris and -- worst of all -- salt to build up on your car. You want to make sure those items are long gone before spring starts. Allowing debris and grime to build up on your car can affect its paint and finish, while allowing salt to build up can lead to rust and other serious problems.
Clean the Inside, Too
Nobody wants to spend time cleaning out their car during a cold winter day. That's why spring is the perfect time to clean your car's interior, so spend a day doing some spring cleaning. Remove and throw away all the interior papers, trash and other items that have accrued over the winter. Not only will you have a clean car, but your spring cleaning can be done when it's more temperate and comfortable outside -- especially important if you have to vacuum your carpets and seats.
Are You Ready To Help Your Auto Recover From Winter
Mon, 08 Apr 2019 12:00:00 +0000
Your car has battled snow, ice, salt and potholes for months on end. Now that winter’s in the rear view mirror ( well almost), certain aspects of your car need a little more TLC than others.
A few things to check
Tires: In our area, now is the time to swap your snow tires for your all-season tires. If you kept your all-season tires on all winter, you’ll want to have them rotated. That’s because the drive wheels get worn down faster in all conditions, but especially in harsh winter conditions. By having them regularly rotated (about every 5,000 to 7,500 miles although your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you what is recommended for your car), they will more evenly distribute the wear-and-tear and extend the life of your tires.
Also, if you’re keeping your all-season tires on all year, make sure to check the tire pressure. cold air lowers tire pressure, which reduces the traction your tires have with the road. The tire pressure may have improved automatically when the weather warmed up, but it’s still best to check.
Windshield wiper blades: Your wiper blades were probably working overtime removing snow and slush off your windshield. That, along with the fact that cold temperatures wear down blades, means you’ll want to inspect them in the spring. Clean the rubber insert with a lint free rag and window cleaner and replace them if they look worn, squeak or don’t completely clear water off your windshield.
Body of the car: The salt used on winter roads can corrode your car, which can cause rust to form. This is especially true when it comes to the car’s underbody. Get things under control by taking your car to a car wash that has high-pressure regular and under-sprays. It will clear off the salt, which will let you inspect your car for any small pits and bubbles that could be the start of a rust spot.
Definitely take your car to a shop if you notice the beginnings of a rust spot. Before next winter, you might also want to stop back to have your car pre-treated with an oil solution under-spray that will help resist winter road salt damage.
Brakes: Brakes work harder in the winter, so it’s a good idea to give a close listen to them. If they make any strange noises, take your car to a pro ASAP. You might also consider having your brake pads and drums checked, especially if your car is on the higher end of the mileage spectrum. It’s easy to become used to the feel of worn brakes.
Fluids: It’s important to check your car’s fluid levels since cars tend to use more fluids in the winter. Have a pro check your brake, oil, windshield, coolant, battery and transmission fluid levels. Also ask him or her to test your battery’s charge since extremely cold temperatures can take a toll on batteries
Engine air filter: A clean engine air filter helps the engine take in fresh, clean air. If it’s clogged, the engine has to work harder. That can lower your fuel economy, so make sure to replace your engine air filter about every 15,000 miles.
Interior of car: Now is the time to wash the floor liners, vacuum and clean out any trash that’s accumulated. You might also consider applying a protective dressing to the interior vinyl to give it a barrier against the sunshine-filled days ahead.
Alignment: Potholes can knock your car out of alignment. If your car pulls in one direction instead of maintaining a straight path, it could be out of alignment. Have a pro check its alignment if that’s the case.
Car-Lotta reminds you to take care of your 4 Wheel Baby!
You probably rely on your vehicle every day to get you where you need to go. But how well can your vehicle rely on you?
There are some things you should never do to your car. Are you guilty of any of them? Check out the list below to find out—and learn what you can do to give your car the care it needs.
8 things to never do to your car...
Put off the recommended maintenance. There’s a reason the car manufacturer gives you that little book when you buy a car. It contains important maintenance guidelines for the age and mileage of your car. By following what it says, you can keep your car running smoothly and safely—and save on having to pay for big repairs later on.
Ignore any warning lights. Most cars come with a check engine light and other warning lights. If any warning light goes off, it’s time to take your car to a qualified mechanic ASAP.
Never change the air filter. A fresh air filter keeps your engine running smoothly and improves your car’s fuel efficiency. Most manufacturers suggest you replace your filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. (Err on the lower side if you drive in dusty conditions or in stop-and-go circumstances.)
Never check your tires’ air levels. Not having the right tire pressure makes for unsafe driving and reduced fuel efficiency. Most vehicles list tire pressure requirements on the driver side door post so you know how much air to give your tires.
Have an unqualified person work on your car. Take the time to find a qualified car mechanic.(Keep in mind that you could qualify as “unqualified” if a repair is beyond your skill level.)
Rev the engine during the winter. Doing this doesn’t warm up the car—in fact, it can cause damage since the oil hasn’t yet worked its way through the engine.
Leave keys in the ignition of an unattended car. This is one of the easiest ways to tempt thieves—
Run your gas tank down to empty. Doing so cuts the life of the fuel pump—and puts you at risk of running out before you get to a station.
A recent study revealed that Pennsylvania motorists have some of the worst driving habits in the country.
The study logged nearly 800 million miles in 2018 to determine common driving habits. It ultimately revealed data related to speeding, smartphone usage and hard turning.
Pennsylvania drivers need to take note because engaging in any of those behaviors greatly increases the odds of sustaining inquires from driving.
Pennsylvania ranked 48th with a driving score of 74.7 out of 100.
The only states that ranked lower than Pennsylvania were Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Out of all drivers observed in Pennsylvania, the data revealed that approximately 37 percent of all trips involved the driver using a cell phone at some point and that 49 percent of the state's trips involved speeding.
Did you know that driving sensibly can save you fuel? Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon of gas!
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas and can lower your gales mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at different speed ( or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases at speeds above 60 mph.
Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
Car-Lotta reminds you to Drive Safe- The life you save may be your own!
There are many reasons why your car won’t start. Before calling for help, there are things you can check yourself.
Start by checking to make sure the steering wheel isn’t locked.
Is your gas tank empty? If you were low on fuel before (or your gauge is broken), it’s possible you’re just on “E.”
Still won’t start?
It could be due to one of the following:
Dead battery. A dead battery is the most common reason why a car won’t start. If you have a battery tester, check your battery to see if it’s weak. If you don’t have one, try jumping your car with jumper cables.
Battery corrosion. Corrosion on your battery can spell trouble. Check and clean your battery posts to make sure there is a clean, complete connection, then try to start your car again. An auto store employee can direct you to the right products and offer advice on how to clean your battery.
Bad starter. The starter motor is responsible for physically turning the engine over and getting the engine to fire. If this is the issue, you’ll need a new one installed.
Bad timing belt. The timing belt ensures the engine’s valves open and close at the proper interval so that the valves and the pistons never touch. The timing belt is the most important maintenance item in in your engine. A failed timing belt can cause catastrophic engine damage requiring an engine replacement. Auto manufacturers specify when a timing belt should be changed. This is usually based on mileage; generally, the interval is every 60,000 miles or five years (whichever comes first).
Bad ignition coil. The ignition coil transforms a battery’s voltage into an electric spark. A damaged ignition coil means there’s not enough juice to do that. You’ll need a multimeter (a tool designed to measure electrical current, voltage and resistance) to test the strength of the current running through the coil.
Clogged fuel filter. A clogged fuel filter will prevent enough fuel from reaching the engine. A replacement is usually needed if this is the problem.
If you can’t fix the problem yourself (or don’t feel comfortable diving under the hood), Car-Lotta recommends that get in touch with a trustworthy mechanic.
On ice and snow-covered roads, it is important to understand the basics of safe driving. Smart travel planning, reliable tires and regular vehicle maintenance all go a long way to keeping you safe on the road.
When it comes to driving on ice there are still some common misconceptions. You might hear conflicting advice on what to do if you lose traction. Should you pump your brakes, or not? It depends.
When driving on ice, the safest technique will depend on whether your vehicle has an antilock braking system (ABS). Keep reading to find out when to pump and when not to pump. How do antilock brakes work?
Antilock brakes decrease your stopping distance and increase control and stability during hard braking. It’s an especially useful on icy roads, where traction is limited. An antilock braking system is made up of speed sensors mounted on each wheel and an electro-hydraulic braking circuit. When used, ABS prevents your wheels from locking by monitoring the speed of each wheel and automatically pulsating the brake pressure when it detects skidding. My car has ABS. Do I need to pump my brakes?
If your vehicle is equipped with ABS, you don’t need to pump the brakes when driving on slippery roads. Why? The brakes do it for you. If you’re wondering how to use ABS, the answer is simple. Your vehicle will activate it automatically, pulsating the brakes as soon as the system detects a wheel skidding. Just firmly press your foot on the brake and maintain steady pressure. You’ll feel the brake pedal pulsate and the ABS light will flash on the instrument panel.
How do you know if your vehicle has antilock brakes?
It’s important to know your vehicle’s braking system before you end up navigating an icy road. Your owner’s manual should describe your braking system and how to operate your vehicle in slippery conditions.
Antilock brake systems have been around for a while. By the late 1990s, ABS was becoming commonplace, even on entry-level vehicles.In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began mandating ABS on all new cars.
If your vehicle was built after 2013, then your vehicle has ABS. But if your car is older, you’ll want to check whether ABS was an included option. An ABS light on your dashboard is also an easy indicator of whether or not you have antilock brakes.
Many late-model vehicles are also equipped with traction control or electronic stability control, which can also help when driving on ice.
If your vehicle doesn’t have antilock brakes, manually pumping can help maintain control on slippery roads. Gently apply and release pressure at a moderate rate. Do not apply quick or steady pressure, as this can cause your wheels to lock and your car to skid.
Can you even imagine life without your automobile ??
With out a vehicle would your children participate in after-school activities, because they wouldn’t have transportation. Would your family would get bored to tears, because you would be stuck at home all day? Getting to work, school, and appointments would become a big hassle without an auto.
Here are the top ways having a car improves your life.
1 It protects you.
Autos are equipped with air bags, seat belts, back-up cameras, and tons of safety features that save lives. Seat belts alone have prevented more than 10,000 deaths. Autos are covered with a protective shell of steel, aluminum, and other metals. Traffic accidents are scary and dangerous, but they’d be a lot more lethal without such a strong set of body armor. Cars are built with your safety in mind, but they can’t care for themselves. Own your responsibility! Follow preventive maintenance. Follow the guidelines in your owner’s manual to minimize risk. Ask your auto shop about more ways to improve your safety.
2. It comforts you.
Your auto should feel like a second home. If it doesn’t, we encourage you to consider why. It might help to wash, vacuum, and organize your car. I bet you’ll feel more comfortable without messes and clutter in your way. A CLEAN auto is a happy one!
3. It inspires you.
Thousands of people gather at car shows every year to admire the craftsmanship that’s involved with making an automobile (and keeping it in good shape!). Safety should always be your #1 consideration when buying your auto, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting an attractive ride. It doesn’t matter whether your vehicle is a beautiful swan or ugly duckling. Think about all the people involved in its creation. Designers made it pretty. Welders and assembly line workers made it practical. Creating a vehicle is a collaborative effort!
4. It communicates with you.
Cars aren’t like an angry romantic partner. They won’t stonewall you or give you the silent treatment. When something is wrong, they will make sure you’re 100% aware! Of course, cars don’t speak English, so you’ll need to use your senses. Look and listen for any odd sights, sounds, smells, or sensations that might suggest you have a car problem. Keep a pencil and notepad in your glove compartment. If you breakdown, see your check engine light, or notice anything weird, pull over and write it down. Don’t trust yourself to remember!
Winter shows no signs of lightening up any time soon, many of us try to get a step ahead of Old Man Winter and warm up our cars before heading out for the day. When cold weather approaches, many leave their cars running unattended in an effort to warm up them before facing the cold.
YOU MAY WANT TO RETHINK THIS PLAN.
In Pennsylvania it is illegal to leave your vehicle running while it is unattended. The purpose of the law is so that vehicle owners do not become victims for thieves! When falling prey to the simple temptation of leaving your auto running and unattended, you must remember that car thefts of this kind are easily preventable crimes.
If you are caught leaving your vehicle running and unattended in Pennsylvania, you are guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $5 plus court costs.
Although summary offenses and tickets do not seem like a big deal in the long run, if your auto is stolen, there can be civil and sometimes even criminal liability for the reckless act of leaving a vehicle unattended while running.
Some Insurance providers will deny coverage for a vehicle stolen due to the lack of reasonable care taken by the owner of the vehicle. If an individual is injured or property damage occurs as a result of an unauthorized individual operating a vehicle simply because it was left running, may have a negligence claim against the owner of the vehicle (or the person who left it running unattended).
So before deciding to put those key in the ignition, turn on the defrosters and heat, and run back into the house to finish getting ready, Car-Lotta reminds you, it is better to have a cold car than no car.
Winter driving definitely has its challenges. Throw an inexperienced or inconsiderate driver into the mix, and your daily commute can get much more difficult.
It’s always aggravating when other drivers put you at risk. Getting stuck behind a driver who is spinning their tires or not paying attention isn’t just annoying… it’s dangerous.
Winter driving calls for quick decision making, patience and a little bit of know-how. Below you’ll find ways to spot a rookie winter driver — and how to avoid looking like one yourself:
Car-Lotta wants you to be aware of 6 Common Mistakes of Winter Drivers
Tailgating is never OK, especially in the winter months. It takes longer to come to a stop in the winter, so you should always put more distance between you and the car ahead. Impatience on the road rarely pays off – tailgating just puts you and others at risk.
Speeding can get you into trouble quickly. Make sure you’re never driving faster than what is safe for the conditions. In snowy or icy conditions, that probably means driving below the speed limit. The faster you're going, the more likely you are to lose control or slide into another car. Expect traffic to move a little slower in the winter and allow extra time to get to your destination.
Getting stuck in deep snow is NEVER fun, chances are it will leave your tires spinning. For your own safety, know when to stay off the road altogether and drive carefully to avoid losing traction in the first place. After all, getting stuck is easy – getting out isn’t.
Ice on the windshield can be tempting to save time by letting your wipers or defroster remove it as you drive. Driving without full visibility is like driving blindfolded. Use a snow brush or ice scraper to clear your windshield entirely every time you get behind the wheel. (And don’t just clear a little “window” you can see through!)
Snow on the roof can be an accident waiting to happen. If your car is covered in snow, take the time to clear your roof before you tackle the windows. You’ll keep snow from falling in your field of vision and from hitting the drivers behind you.
Driving with high beams on can be frustrating in any condition, but some people think that high beams will increase your vision during whiteouts or heavy snowfall. In fact, fog lights and low beams will do much better.
Just like other people's driving, winter weather can be unpredictable. Even the safest, most experienced drivers can get into an accident.
Did You Know..... in the winter it is important to clear all snow and ice from your vehicle. Not only does it prevent a hazard from snow and ice that may fall from your vehicle, it also provides an unobstructed view.
This is not only important.... IT'S THE LAW!
Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Law:
When snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury (relating to accidents involving death or personal injury), the operator of the vehicle from which the snow or ice is dislodged or falls shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.
Car-Lotta Car Sales reminds you to take the extra few minutes.... Clear your vehicle.