You might not hear much about the dangers of sneezing while driving, it fits into the category of distracted driving and causes more accidents than you might think.
Accidents happen for various reasons, but even fatal accidents can be caused by something as simple as a sneeze.
What should you do if you have to sneeze?
Probably the most effective way to avoid a sneeze-induced automobile accident is the simple act of pulling over to sneeze. Most people can feel a sneeze coming on, and that means you should have enough time to pull your vehicle over to a safe shoulder before giving yourself over to the sneeze. Drivers may travel up to 50 feet with their eyes closed while sneezing so, if possible, pull over to sneeze.
Stop the sneeze
It’s not comfortable or technically healthy to stop a sneeze in its tracks, but it is possible. If you have very intense sneezes and think you could endanger yourself and your passengers if you don’t do something, you can try these techniques if you feel a sneeze coming on to stop your sneeze:
Pinch your upper lip
Put your finger under your nose
Squeeze your nose
Grab the spot between your eyebrows
Distract yourself by thinking about something else
Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable for women to wear white.
Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons. NCAA teams usually play their first games the week before Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day. Most school districts that started summer vacation in mid June will resume school near this day.
The first Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, in Boston, by the Central Labor Union of New York, the nation's first integrated major trade union. It became a federal holiday in 1894. Singed into law as a National Holiday by Grover Cleveland.
All Car-Lotta Credit locations will be closed Monday September 2nd in observance of Labor Day.
It’s all about your budget – and your comfort level with risk.
Here are some things to consider about when choosing your deductible.
Your budget:Ask yourself:What’s the amount of money I would be comfortable paying if I need to repair my vehicle?The lower your deductible, the less you will have to pay out of pocket if you have to file a claim, but your overall car insurance premium will be higher.
It works the opposite way, as well.If you have a high deductible, you will have a lower car insurance premium – but you’ll pay more out of pocket if you file a claim. This decision comes down to personal preference and what you can afford within your current budget.
Drive time:Think about the amount of time you spend driving on a daily or weekly basis. If you’re in your car a lot – or driving in more accident-prone areas – you might be exposed to more risk than someone who drives less.
Value of your vehicle:The more expensive the vehicle, the more it costs to insure. In that scenario, a high deductible could help you save on your premium. However, if you have a car loan, some lenders stipulate that your deductible should not exceed a certain amount. Check with your lender to be sure.
Car-Lotta Car Sales Suggests you keep your deductible at NO MORE THAN $500.00 but the decision is ultimately yours.
Did you know the temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F...and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that's 110 degrees inside your vehicle!
Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even worse, even on a day that doesn't seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference.
Car-Lotta Car Sales reminds you.... before you put your pet in the vehicle, ask yourself if you really need to take your pet with you – and if the answer is no, leave your pet safely at home. If you must take your pet with you, make sure he or she is properly restrained so the trip is as safe as possible for both of you.
If you own a vehicle, chances are you’ve let a friend or family member borrow it at least once.
There are plenty of reasons to hand over the keys. Maybe you needed a relative to pick up your kids from school or you’re helping someone get to work after their car broke down.
Did you know that in the event of an accident… it’s your auto insurance policy that would have to pay?
The number one misconception about loaning out your vehicle is that if you let your neighbor borrow your car, an accident should go on their insurance because he or she was the one driving but in private passenger auto insurance, the coverage typically follows the vehicle, not the driver.
Let’s break it down.
DOES MY CAR INSURANCE COVER OTHER DRIVERS?
Insured drivers include:
Resident relatives: Most personal auto policies provide coverage to the named insured, their spouse or domestic partner and any other resident relatives. So if someone is a member of your family and lives in your home, they’re automatically an insured under your policy unless excluded.
Domestic partners:If someone lives with you but isn’t a relative, they are not named insureds under your policy. However, if you’re living with a domestic partner, they can be added to your policy as a named insured but only if your relationship is the long-term, committed type – you share domestic responsibilities and have joint financial obligations. All you have to do is call your agent and let them know. They’ll send out a short driver questionnaire and check your partner’s driving record to determine eligibility.
Someone with permissive use:If you loaned out your vehicle to a friend or neighbor, your policy generally will cover them – as long as you gave your permission. If they are a regular and repeated user of the car, they should also have coverage. The only exception is if a driver has been specifically excluded on your policy.
Finally: If someone else is regularly driving your car, it’s important to let your agent know.
Chances are, anyone you let borrow your car will fall into one of these three categories. Car-Lotta reminds you that just because someone is covered doesn’t mean loaning your car is risk-free.
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.