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366 posts categorized "Car Care"

December 16, 2011

The Ask Patty Holiday Gift Garage: YOU!

HolidayPattyWow, it's hard to believe, but it's true: we are officially into single digits on our "days until Christmas" countdown.  A little more than a week remains until tinsel time, but there's still time to bring you one last Holiday Gift Garage post, this time focused on the one person we haven't shopped for yet:  YOU!

We've done the kids, and we've done the pets, now it's time for us to look at some great automotive themed gifts that will make your holiday a little bit brighter, and maybe a little bit safer, too.  Let's get to it!


Prod-2100-zoomThe CarMD Vehicle Health System - Check engine light on?   It's one of life's deepest mysteries - what, oh what could that light possibly mean?  Is it your gas cap?  A sensor of some sort malfunctioning?  To find out, you'll have to take it to a mechanic and have it scanned, or - you could do it yourself, at home.  CarMD uses the same sophisticated technology your mechanic uses, but was designed for everyone to use. It does not matter whether you know a lot about cars or don't have a clue.  The CarMD Vehicle Health system will not only tell you what that check engine light means, it'll also tell you how much you can expect to pay for a repair, not to mention empowering you with the ability to diagnose and even fix simple problems yourself.  It even does emissions testing, so you're not surprised come inspection time. 

HeatedSeatThe Wagan Heated Seat Cushion - Some people have heated seats in their cars already.  I very much enjoy being in the passenger seat with those people during the winter, because my own car doesn't have that feature.  If you're in the same boat, stop hitching lifts to keep your behind warm and treat yourself to this heated seat cushion.  Apparently I'm not alone, because it's one of the most wished-for automotive items on Amazon today - and at $20, it's a no-brainer, really.


JumpncarryJump-n-Carry Jumpstarter - No one wants to be stuck, especially not in winter.  If you get stranded with a dead battery it's either find a good samaritan to give you a boost, or wait for a friend, family member, or roadside assistance to arrive... and if it's the latter, you'll be waiting a while.  This jumpstarter can get you back on the road quickly and painlessly - it jumpstarts your own engine!  A must have for any vehicle emergency kit.


InflatorCraftsman NEXTEC Inflator - A perfect companion piece to the jumpstarter, this will keep those tires ready for the road.  Powered by a 12.0 Volt Die-Hard® Lithium-Ion battery for enhanced performance and longer shelf-life, this unit's powerful, adjustable air pressure quickly inflates objects all the way up to 200PSI! Fill up a variety of inflatable's including pool toys, sports equipment and yes, vehicle tires.    Simply use the up/down arrows to set the desired PSI on the digital screen and it will do the rest. Once the desired PSI is met the inflator will automatically shut off to prevent over inflating.


Photo_distinctive3M Scotchprint Wrap Film - Want to make your ride a little more distinctive?  More affortable and less permanent than paint, this awesome wrap film is the perfect way to customize your car for a day, a year, or more.  Choose from a variety of finishes, textures and colors including carbon fiber, that off a unique, head-turning look.  You can get a sample, more info, and installation instructions at 3M's website.


MaddMADD Virgin Drinks - If you're attending holiday parties and driving, please remember to do so responsibly.  To help you keep yourself and your family safe, MADD presents a series of virgin beverages that allow you to participate in holiday cheer without any of the ill-effects.  These virgin drinks are all 100% alcohol-free, and varieties include champagne, merlot, chardonnay, mojito, pina colada, margarita, and even a virgin lager.  Remember, at the holidays and every day, buzzed driving IS drunk driving and one small step can and will save lives.

Wagan IN9738-5 12-Volt Heated Seat Cushion

December 12, 2011

Winter Car Care Tips from the Pros at ASE

Winter-DrivingBrought to you by ASE - National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence

It’s foolhardy to head out in a poorly maintained vehicle in the dead of winter, of course, but even vehicle owners in temperate zones need to consider a fall car-care check, note the pros with the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an independent group that tests and certifies the competence of auto technicians.

“Regular, routine maintenance can help improve your gasoline mileage, reduce pollution, and catch minor problems before they become big headaches,” says Martin Lawson, ASE’s editorial director.

The following tips ASE will give you a road map to winter car care.

Continue reading "Winter Car Care Tips from the Pros at ASE" »

December 07, 2011

Vehicle Safety Items Make Perfect Holiday Gifts

GiftsBrought to you by Car Care Council

It’s crunch time and if you’re still struggling with what to give a loved one, family member or friend this holiday season, the perfect gift can be an item related to vehicle safety. Tire pressure gauges, ice scrapers, emergency kits, windshield wipers or the new consumer Car Care Guide, published by the Car Care Council, are suitable items for any drivers on your list.


“These small and relatively inexpensive items play a big role in vehicle safety and reliability especially during winter driving when road conditions can be hazardous and unpredictable,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “They’re a perfect stocking stuffer or holiday gift that shows the drivers on your list that you truly care about them this holiday season.”

Continue reading "Vehicle Safety Items Make Perfect Holiday Gifts" »

November 05, 2011

SEMA / AAPEX: Female-Friendly Carnival Highlights 2011 - Part One

11_SEMAShow_Logo_RedThe AskPatty team of women Jody DeVere CEO, expert women Amy Mattinat of AutoCraftsmen of Vermont, Bogi Lateiner 180 Degrees Automotive in Phoenix and automotive senior editor Diana Claussen were in full force for SEMA, the TIA Global Tire Expo, I-CAR and AAPEX last week, covering all the female-friendly events, products and news!

Female-Friendly Awards and Event Highlights:

LexBrodiesScott Williams, president of Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake & Service Co an Certified Female Friendly® clientsin Honolulu, was named Tire Business’ 2011 Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award winner. I was in attendance when Scott won this well deserved award Oct. 31 at the Tire Industry Honors event sponsored by the Tire Industry Association during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. He was presented with a medal symbolizing the spirit of giving and a $1,000 donation to two charities, Hawaii’s Institute for Human Services, which supports homeless in the area, and the Lex Brodie’s Tire Co. Foundation, which provides donations to Hawaiian schools.

Crash hungerAttended and supported the Collision Industry Foundation 2nd Annual Gala Fundraiser to benfit Crash Hunger on November 2nd at teh Las Vegas Hilton, a joint donation and volunteer project to combat hunger in the USA. While also raising awareness for hunger initiatives, during the month of February members of the collision industry will be asked to donate their time at local food banks. donated a beautiful travel bag for the silent auction.

Great News! Continuing to broaden its outreach to women, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. announced during SEMA its plans to expand its partnership in 2012 with Inc. Cooper Tire, which began a relationship with us this past July,  will continue to engage women customers through AskPatty’s growing educational interactive platforms, social media and online outreach. The Findlay-based tire maker cited research showing that 74 percent of American women feel automotive marketers could understand them better—“a concern that Cooper Tire is working to change by developing female-targeted brand messages with a focus on tire maintenance and education,” the company said. Cooper said its continuing partnership “highlights the importance of tire maintenance and education, especially for busy women.

SBN_SEMA_ATHENA_JODY_DEVERE_2011Jody Devere CEO spoke on 'What Women Want' at the TIA Global Tire Expo SEMA educational sessions and was also named the 2011 winner of the SEMA Businesswomen's Network annual Athena Award, established to honor an industry person (male or female) or company for outstanding contributions to women in the automotive aftermarket, during the SBN Breakfast on Thursday November 3rd.


New Female-Friendly SEMA / AAPEX Products:

AutotexpinkplusThe AutoTex PINK PLUS wiper blade was launched and is the optimal wiper replacement for drivers who are both concerned with ensuring safety through improved visibility on the road and making a bold  statement. A high quality, molded rubber wiper blade with aerodynamic, pink colored steel frame, and polymer sleeve that meets or exceeds Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) specifications, AutoTex PINK PLUS wipers are perfect for all-weather conditions and are guaranteed to be nearly 100% compatible with vehicles using existing metal wiper blades. In addition, AutoTex PINK donates a portion of every windshield wiper sale to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

LE-Passport9500ix_SunsanGKomenESCORT Inc, the leading manufacturer of premium automotive electronic accessories and maker of the world's best radar and laser detectors, announced at the 2011 SEMA Show the release of the new ESCORT Live™  the social network for the road where drivers share live alerts with other drivers so everyone in the network can drive smarter.

ESCORT Live™, now available directly from ESCORT, uses Bluetooth technology embedded in SmartCord Live™ cords and a unique app for the driver’s smartphone. When alerts are detected, they are transmitted to the ESCORT Live™ “cloud” and then broadcast across the ESCORT Live™ network, notifying drivers of potential ticket threats.  In addition to these live alerts, ESCORT’s industry leading Defender® database of fixed position cameras and speed traps is also provided.

The patented PASSPORT iQ™, the world's first and only driving accessory that integrates radar/laser detection and GPS navigation, and also provides important driving information, such as speed traps and speed limit data, in a single compact device. I recently reviewed the PASSPORT iQ™ and now call 'her' Lola and don't drive without her! Check out the new Limited Edition Passport 9500ix Susan G Komen version that benefits breast cancer.

The SEARS Craftsman brand unveiled several new products to the Craftsman NEXTEC line of tools for 2011 that I think are great for women, powered by the same interchangeable, compact and lightweight 12-volt DieHard lithium-ion battery. Each tool allows the user to perform various tasks around the home, in the garage and on-the-go. From charging your phone to inflating a flat tire or cleaning out your car, Craftsman’s new NEXTEC tools have you covered.

Craftsman NEXTEC InflatorOur FAVORITE PICK the Craftsman NEXTEC Inflator:  This very small light-weight digital inflator utilizes powerful, adjustable air pressure that quickly inflates objects from 0.5 pounds per square inch (PSI) to 200 PSI, allowing users to inflate a variety of objects such as vehicle tires, pool toys, sports equipment and more. The Craftsman NEXTEC Inflator (29641) retails for $39.99 as an add-on tool without the battery or charger.

Craftsman NEXTEC Multi-Purpose Work Light:  This florescent work light has a clear poly carbonate lens to direct and focus light, eliminating shadows or blinds spots on the workspace. The lens contour throws light forward and outward to provide a full range of 320 degrees of light.  The work light has a long-lasting, 13-watt, 300 lumen ENERGY STAR®-rated fluorescent bulb that lasts 1.75 hours on a single charge.The Craftsman NEXTEC Multi-Purpose Work Light (2966) retails for $29.99 as an add-on tool without the battery or charger.

Craftsman NEXTEC Vacuum: This dual stage vacuum cleaner uses a Gore® filter that is reusable and dishwasher safe. A powerful vortex suction quickly and easily removes dirt and debris from automobiles, the workbench or common household items such as blinds, draperies and furniture.  The Craftsman NEXTEC Vacuum (29642) retails for $49.99 as an add-on tool without the battery or charger.
Each of these new products will be available at, K-Mart and Sears stores nationwide.  For more than 80 years, Craftsman has developed innovative products. To learn more about Craftsman’s assortment of innovative hand tools, power tools and lawn equipment, visit, or one of the many Sears or Sears Hometown Stores nationwide.

Teen Safety!

CLCTRL_lock screenTook a great test drive with Mitsubishi Motors North America to demonstrate Scosche’s cellCONTROL in a moving vehicle the All-New 100% Electric-Powered Mitsubishi i with an Impressive EPA Rated 62 Mile/98 Mile LA4 Mode Range and 112 MPGe Rating arriving in 2012.

Scosche’s Safe Driving System helps parents monitor their teen drivers by automatically disabling the most distracting functions of a smartphone including handheld phone calls, texting and emailing capabilities. As the vehicle begins to move, cellCONTROL will automatically connect to the users phone via Bluetooth to disable distracting functions. The system is completely tamper proof and will automatically alert the system’s administrator with any removal, deactivation or other misuse.

Scosche’s Safe Driving System easily connects to a vehicle’s OBD2 port and communicates with the smartphone in the vehicle.  Scosche’s cellCONTROL Safe Driving System retails for $129.95 and is available at and at specialty retailers.  Like the Scosche’s Facebook Page for a special 20% off promo code

Scosche_kickstandScosche also makes a ton of cool mobile phone accessories. OUR TOP PICK the iPhone case with a kickstand called the switchBACK g4 with Polycarbonate Case with Interchangeable Backs for iPhone 4S and 4 (Verizon, Sprint and AT&T)
$29.99. For more information visit our website at

Bendix_Brakes_For_Teens_SafetyBendix launched a "Brakes for Teen Safety”  a social media campaign aimed at educating teens and their parents about proper vehicle care to keep them safe on the roads. This digital program launched in October to coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week. It includes a series of online videos and a designated Facebook page that offers relevant tips and safety information, enabling teens and parents to post their own questions and advice.

The first two videos, “What Teens Don’t Know About Car Safety” and “The Top Five Car Care Tips for Teens,” address the importance of regularly checking and changing brakes and other components, and highlight proper vehicle maintenance habits for safe driving. They can be found on the brand’s YouTube channel and on the campaign’s Facebook page. 

More SEMA / AAPEX coverage coming soon, so stay tuned.

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October 31, 2011

Don't Be Spooked by Creepy Car Noises

Jack-o'-Lantern_2003-10-31Editors at find most terrifying auto noises can be eliminated without an exorcist

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. Editors at recommend a semiannual checkup to keep a truly terrifying maintenance bill out of your future. 

“If the problem is caught and solved early on, it usually costs far less than waiting until the noise gets very loud,” said Dave Kusa, owner of Autotrend Diagnostics in Campbell, Calif.

Associate editor Angie Fisher found some common explanations for sounds that drivers should be aware of at this time of year, or any other: 

Continue reading "Don't Be Spooked by Creepy Car Noises" »

October 27, 2011

Fall into a Vehicle Maintenance Program

October-FallCarCareMonth (1)Brought to you by Car Care Council

October is Fall Car Care Month, the perfect time to fall into a vehicle maintenance program and get your car ready for the challenges of harsh winter weather.

“A thorough inspection of your vehicle during Fall Car Care Month will go a long way toward ensuring safety and dependability when temperatures drop and severe winter weather strikes,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A routine maintenance program also makes financial sense, extending useful vehicle life and helping avoid costly repairs down the road.”

Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, the Car Care Council recommends 10 basic maintenance procedures to keep your vehicle operating at its best:

Continue reading "Fall into a Vehicle Maintenance Program" »

October 25, 2011

Technical Tuesdays: How to Replace Your Oil Filter

In a new weekly article bringing you practical car tips and repair advice, we're going to be bringing you videos, tutorials, tips and tricks every Tuesday morning.  

In this inaugural post, Ask Patty's own Jody DeVere tells you all about your oil filter, including how to replace it.  When you take your car in for an oil change, the filter is also replaced.  Knowing how to do this yourself can save you money, or at the very least allow you to be more empowered knowledge the next time you visit your lube of choice!  

This video, part of our series of eHow instructional videos, was produced at a Certified Female Friendly location last year.  Hit the jump for the video.

Continue reading "Technical Tuesdays: How to Replace Your Oil Filter" »

October 20, 2011

Autumn Leaves Present Driving Hazards

October-FallCarCareMonth (1)Brought to you by Car Care Council

Fall is the picture-perfect time of year when many drivers take to the road to view the autumn colors. The leaves are beautiful to see, but when wet or in piles on the roads, they present driving hazards unique to the season. The Car Care Council reminds drivers to prepare for fall driving conditions by having their vehicles’ tires, brakes and wipers checked before heading out on the road.

“Drivers should be aware that wet leaves on the road surface can make stopping difficult, and piles of leaves can obscure potholes, curbs and street markings,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Add to these hazards the fact that road conditions can change from ideal to miserable in a matter of minutes, and what you have is a potentially dangerous situation. ”

Continue reading "Autumn Leaves Present Driving Hazards" »

October 10, 2011

Dirty Oil? Maybe Your Engine Air Filter's To Blame

Carairfilter Dirty oil? Maybe your engine air filter’s to blame.

Wait a minute. The author meant to say, ‘oil filter’ you’re probably telling yourself. No, we really meant ‘engine air filter.’ If your car’s engine air filter is torn or clogged, your engine is probably running on dirty oil.

Think about it. A vehicle ingests about 10,000 gallons of air to burn a single gallon of fuel. And if you add to it all the contaminants that the air along roads and highways contains – soot, dust, debris, leaves, straw, tiny bits of rubber – imagine the amount of dirt that can enter the engine compartment each time you take your vehicle out.

“Dirt found alongside roads is of the worst kind,” said Chuck Kerrigan, Director of Marketing for Purolator, manufacturer and supplier of automotive filters to the North American aftermarket. ( “It’s abrasive and full of grit and when a large quantity of unfiltered roadside air enters the engine compartment, besides contaminating the oil, it has the greater potential to damage critical engine components like valves, piston rings and cylinder walls,” Kerrigan said.

Continue reading "Dirty Oil? Maybe Your Engine Air Filter's To Blame" »

October 01, 2011

40% of NASCAR Fans are Women Like Me!

Last weekend I was the guest of Sylvania for the NASCAR Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to enjoy the races, tour the RCR Haulers, be on Pit Road when the green flag dropped, take in all the excitment and fun at the track up close to learn more about Sylvania automotive lighting products and watch a demo of their headlamp restoration kit.

Here is a YouTube video collage to share all the sights and sounds of my NASCAR weekend experience with you, enjoy!


Continue reading "40% of NASCAR Fans are Women Like Me!" »

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