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Tag Archives: Auto Safety

Savvy Consumer Tip: Preparing for a Road Trip

Headed out on a road trip this summer? Watch this video for some tips on how to prepare your car for a long drive.

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Teen Driving

Do you have a teenager who is about to start driving? Watch this video for some helpful tips.

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Check Your Tread Wear

Do you know how to tell if your car’s tires have adequate tread wear? Watch this video for some helpful information.

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The Biggest Auto Recall Ever

Chris Toyota

Chris’ 2003 Toyota was one of millions in a recent recall. Check www.safercar.gov for up-to-date recall information. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2015)

It’s easy to tune out news about automobile recalls—most aren’t serious, and they usually don’t apply to a vehicle you own. However, my ears perked up when my 2003 Toyota was among millions of cars being recalled. Vehicles of many different makes (Honda, BMW, Subaru, Mazda, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mitsubishi, Nissan) have Japanese-made airbags that could explode upon impact and injure drivers and passengers with flying shrapnel. That’s pretty scary. I called my local Toyota dealership right away to schedule the “fix” specified in the recall. The free repair was completed with minimal hassle earlier this year. Continue reading “The Biggest Auto Recall Ever” »

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The Importance of Shock Replacement

Shock replacement continues to be one of the most commonly neglected aspects of vehicle maintenance. Most people put off replacement until their shocks are completely worn down or leaking fluid, but the average lifespan of most shocks is only 50,000 miles, so they should be replaced proactively rather than remedially.

The fact that shock replacement is so frequently overlooked may be due to a lack of appreciation for the role they play in vehicle operation. The primary function of shocks is to control a vehicle’s suspension system. As shocks become worn, however, their ability to fulfill this role becomes diminished, resulting in more movement of the suspension and its related components. Continue reading “The Importance of Shock Replacement” »

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Warming up a Car: Myth or Fact?

Whether from force of habit or misinformation, many drivers still think it’s necessary to let their cars idle and warm up before driving in the morning. While this may have been important 30 years ago, modern technological advancements have made warming up a car before driving a thing of the past.

The sophisticated fuel injection technology in modern cars has removed the need to “warm up” before driving. Photo: Coelho’s Body Repair (2013)

The sophisticated fuel injection technology in modern cars has removed the need to “warm up” before driving. Photo: Coelho’s Body Repair (2013)

Prior to the 1980s, the fuel delivery systems in most cars were regulated by carburetors. With a carburetor, an engine needed to be warm in order to get the correct fuel mixture, which was why letting a car idle for several minute before driving was so important. By the end of the ’80s, however, a new kind of system was introduced: fuel injection. Continue reading “Warming up a Car: Myth or Fact?” »

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Car Seat Safety

Do you have small children? Watch this video for some helpful tips on making sure they’re safe in their car seats.

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Wet Roads & Cruise Control

Did you know driving with cruise control on wet roads can be dangerous? Watch this video to find out why.

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Be Kind to Your Clutch

Does your car have a manual transmission? Chris Bjorklund has some tips for minimizing wear-and-tear.

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How to Identify Your Car’s Warning Signs

When you hear an unusual noise coming from your car (usually a whine, creak or squeal) it’s a warning that its normal operating methods have changed—often for the worse. By paying close attention to these sounds, you can catch minor problems before they become too serious and expensive. Consider the following tips:

Squealing brakes
If you hear high-pitched squealing when you apply your brakes (especially lightly), it’s probably caused by vibration in the brake pads. Minor squealing won’t affect your braking performance and is usually nothing to worry about. If you take your car to an auto repair shop, a mechanic may be able to apply a lubricant and quiet the vibration. However, if you hear a similar squeal while the car is moving but it stops when you step on the brake pedal, it’s a sign that your brake pads have worn down and need to be changed soon. Continue reading “How to Identify Your Car’s Warning Signs” »

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