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October 21, 2016

Are You Getting Ready for Winter?

Woman_with_snowy_car-winter_driving-iStock_000018495162-omgimagesHave you thought about buying a new winter jacket, new winter gloves, or even new boots? If you have, then you are thinking about getting yourself ready for winter, but have you thought about getting your car ready for winter? Hmmm… probably not.

Why not, I wonder? Our cars are very important to us and we need to take care of them so they don’t let us down in the cold winter months.

Below are a number of items that you should be having checked when you take your vehicle in for service in the next month.

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October Doesn't Have to be Scary: Squeaky Brakes and Creepy Car Noises


While wary ears may be scanning for the spooky sounds of Halloween this time of year, the sounds coming from beneath your hood should be taken just as seriously.

While it's not likely that your car is possessed, investigating these sounds right away can keep a truly terrifying maintenance bill out of your future. Whether its squeaking, grinding, whirring or screeching, read this guide to understanding the sounds your car makes, so you won't be spooked by creepy car noises.

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October 20, 2016

Is It Bad For Your Car If You Drive Until You Run Out Of Fuel?

Empty_gas_tank-iStock_76575303So I did this the other day.

Well, I didn't actually run out of gas, but after sitting in rush-hour traffic for two hours, my "Miles to Empty" indicator dropped in one step from 14 miles left on the tank to alternating between zero and one mile left.

I pulled off the freeway immediately to find a gas station and along the way, watched it creep back up to three miles to empty and breathed a sigh of relief.

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October 19, 2016

October Doesn't Have to be Scary: Headlight Out


Did you know? October is Headlight Safety Month! The seasons are changing and days are growing shorter so it's especially important that we all ensure our cars are safe and visible before setting our clocks back on Sunday, November 6.

This is particularly relevant because according to statistics from the Motor Vehicle Lighting Council, limited visibility is a factor in 2.8 million accidents, 23,000 fatal crashes, and 2,300 pedestrian deaths!

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October 18, 2016

National Teen Driver Safety Week: Ford Shares Research on Teen Driving Deaths

GHSA_TeenData2016_IG1A recent report funded by a grant from the Ford Motor Company identifies a decrease in teen deaths since 2004 but still shows risks for older teen drivers. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety [IIHS], mile for mile, teens continue to have the highest crash risk of any age group on the road.

Releasing results to correspond with National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 16-22, 2016), the report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) examines ten years of crash data to identify the differences in fatal crashes between older and younger teens, as well as by gender, and provides a set of 11 policy and best practice recommendations for states to implement.

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October 17, 2016

Teen Driver Safety Week: Teens Apping While Driving

1-istock-teen_driverAlthough teens say they think using apps while driving is "dangerous," tests show that they still feel driving while apping is not "distracting."

"We were surprised to find a disconnect between the dangers associated with 'apping' while driving, while a majority see 'texting' as dangerous," says Dr. William Horrey, Ph.D., principal research scientist at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Research Institute for Safety. Horrey notes that app interaction is like texting; it requires both visual and mental attention as well as physical manipulation.

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October Doesn't Have to be Scary: The Check Engine Light


One of the most vital components to a properly functioning vehicle is the 'Check Engine' light. It alerts the driver to a variety of potential problems based on the vehicle's onboard diagnostic system, and can seem like one of the most mysterious lights on your dashboard.

When the 'Check Engine' light comes on, it means that some system in your vehicle, including ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating at peak performance, even if your vehicle appears to you to be running normally. The warning light generally indicates that the engine management computer has detected a malfunctioning fuel, emissions component, or a system failure.

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October 14, 2016

October Doesn't Have to be Scary: The TPMS Light


Do you know what this dashboard light means? It is your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) telling you that one (or more) of your tires is dangerously under-inflated.

If you see the light, don't be scared! But you should make an immediate effort to check the pressure in all four tires manually using a tire pressure gauge, or swing by a local tire shop and ask them to check it for you. Many shops, including Firestone Tire and Auto, will perform this service for you and inflate them to their correct pressure as a courtesy.

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