With more than 125 million
vehicles on the roadway and Americans relying on their cars for nearly
every part of their life, AAA recognizes one of the most stressful
things a motorist can encounter is a sudden breakdown. In 2012, AAA
received more than 28 million roadside assistance calls. While 58
percent of those breakdowns could be resolved at the roadside by AAA
technicians, nearly 12 million vehicles needed to be towed to a local
repair shop for further help.
“Being stranded with your vehicle can be a very stressful
experience,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s Director of Automotive Engineering
and Repair. “It is important to be prepared for a break-down. There are
several things to remember that can help keep you safe and get you back
on the road more quickly.”
If you want to add more years to the relationship between you and
your car, give it a little extra attention this Valentine’s Day in the
form of an oil change, tune-up or other loving service to make sure it
runs happily ever after. Just a little extra care can lead to a longer
life for your car, says the Car Care Council.
“There’s no debating the value of preventive maintenance to keep your
car running efficiently.By giving your vehicle a little more attention
now, you’ll avoid the heartbreak and unexpected expense of car trouble
down the road,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
The Car Care Council recommends you treat your car to regular care this Valentine’s Day and beyond.
Schedule a tune-up annually to optimize your car’s performance. A
well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy
and produces the lowest level of emissions.
Change the oil and filter per the owner’s manual. Periodic oil and filter changes keep your engine clean on the inside.
Check the tire pressure monthly, including the spare. Your car’s tires affect its ride, handling, traction and safety.
Have the alignment checked annually. Potholes and other road
conditions, as well as normal wear, can take their toll on your car’s
steering and suspension. A wheel alignment reduces tire wear, improves
fuel economy and handling, and increases driving enjoyment and safety.
Inspect the windshield wipers and lights on the car. Lights and
wipers play a major role in safe driving, and they are normal wear items
that need periodic replacement.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car
Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of
regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of
the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.
I recently had the opportunity to test
a brand-new product from Armor All. The company that produces a wide
variety of vehicle cleaners, protectants, and more has just
introduced this all-new product which has more uses than I can hope
to count in the span of one review, but suffice it to say this: the
Armor All team has one heck of a versatile product here. This is a
product whose aim is both cosmetic and
utilitarian – it protects, while giving you a look similar to what
you'd get at your local custom shop. Let's take a look at just what
this stuff does, and how mind-bogglingly useful it could be.
First and foremost,
this product is all about protecting your finish, and that's where
I'll start. One of the samples I received was the clear variety,
which may not look very impressive, but I sure had a perfect
opportunity to use it. On the week I was to sample this stuff, we
had a run of nasty weather in the mountains of Appalachia where I
live. A week of flooding that culminated in a pretty climactic nine
inch snowfall (more higher up – we lucked out there) effectively
delayed my road test, but also presented an opportunity. Once this
weather was passed, our roads were a mess of slush, salt, and
generally nasty stuff. Now, I don't need to tell any of our regular
readers of the importance of protecting your vehicle's finish from
the damaging effects of road salt, but today I get the distinct
privilege of showing you a great way to prevent it.
This stuff is truly
the only thing in its class, I've never seen anything like it. Armor
All Custom Shield Coating comes in a can that looks like any other
aerosol can, except it's a little larger. This product, once sprayed
onto your car, forms a solid coating shielding your car from
everything outside. It's hard to see with the clear version, but I
used it to coat my quarter-panels to protect them from all the muck
on our roads after our bout of inclement weather. Once it's on, it
will protect everything under it for three months. Here's the best
part, and it's pretty unbelievable: once you decide you want to
replace of remove the Custom Shield, it simply peels off, just like
A word to the wise,
here – make sure you follow instructions and apply four complete
coats, letting each dry in between. If you don't, I could see with a
test patch that peeling Armor All Custom Shield Coating off would be
more like peeling a sunburn than peeling a sheet of vinyl. With four
good, even coats everything works just fine.
another side to this product that is just amazing to me – it is a
cosmetic product as well as a protectant. Available in several
colors (clear, white, black, and grey), you can use this stuff to do
a wide variety of custom work to your car in the comfort of your own
driveway, and it's easy.
I can't stress that enough. Armor All Custom Shield Coating, a
wiping cloth, and a roll of painter's tape are all you really need,
but if you're anything like me, a little strip of tape isn't much of
a margin for error. Full disclosure, I used a sheet of posterboard
for overspray, and had my trusty spouse hold it as I applied. I am
certain that it saved me some frantic wiping, so you may want to plan
on doing the same if you're not an experienced painter. I went with a
classic racing stripe, but you can also do a sweet two-tone effect, a
custom wheel treatment (to protect your wheels from road-grime) or,
if you get really creative, you could stencil on any number of custom
For ease of use, Armor All Custom Shield Coating gets top marks.
Just spray onto a clean, dry surface 6-12 inches away using even,
overlapping strokes (after taping off as necessary for your job), let
it dry, and repeat. As above – to be sure, make sure you do four
good coats, allowing time to dry in between. Before you remove the
tape, spray the edges one last time – you want wet edges for clean
tape removal, otherwise it tends to want to pull up what you've
already put down. Once you're done, marvel at your own abilities as
a custom shop artist, and drive with pride for up to 3 months –
then re-apply, or change it up with a whole new look.
learn more about the brand-new Armor All Custom Shield Coating, get
ideas, see pictures and videos, or to buy a can for your own DIY
custom project, visit www.aacustomshield.com
and use promo code SPRAY1 (all caps) to qualify for FREE shipping for
your order! The sky is really the limit with this stuff. AskPatty
has spoken. Armor All Custom Shield Coating is Awesome!
Most people make new year’s resolutions. Resolving to lose weight and
exercise can be tough ones to keep, but resolving to take better care
of your car has never been easier with the free online custom service schedule from the non-profit Car Care Council.
“Signing up for our free customized service schedule and e-mail
reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your
vehicle throughout the year,” said Rich White, executive director, Car
Care Council. “It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive
smart, save money and make informed decisions about preventative vehicle
The Car Care Council’s personalized online schedule and e-mail
reminder service, powered by DriverSide.com, is free of charge and can
be customized by motorists to help make vehicle ownership more
enjoyable, economical and convenient. Motorists’ customized schedule can
be easily created by visiting the Car Care Council’s website at www.carcare.org.
“Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional
service technician, following a preventative maintenance schedule will
help keep your vehicle safe, dependable and on the road longer,” said
To help consumers become more comfortable with the auto service and
repair process, the Car Care Council produced a video entitled “Auto Service and Repair: What to Expect,”
which provides a wealth of information on such topics as finding the
right auto repair facility, what to expect at the shop and what
questions to ask. The video also covers the real truth about consumer
rights and the manufacturer’s warranty, and is available at www.carcare.org.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car
Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of
regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of
the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.
Santa Monica, California: The Beetle is a model that needs no introduction; it’s not simply that the “bug” is known around the globe- it’s unique and carries with it a rich history of fun motoring.
Volkswagen brought its latest iteration, a convertible version of the updated Beetle, to the Los Angeles International Auto Show for the global debut of the 2013 VW Beetle Convertible. Although Beetle isn’t the best seller in this German automaker’s lineup, it is definitely the ‘halo’ for the brand and there was no better place than trend-setting LA to take the top off of the halo and also to talk about VW’s increased sales momentum in the U.S. and around the world. VW also brought a group of auto writers to the show and to the sunny and fun California coastal region that runs from Santa Monica to Malibu for a day of top-down motoring in the new Beetle Convertible. It is priced starting at $24,995, with its high-level version priced at $31,195.
What defines the new Beetle is an updated sleek, redesigned exterior and reworked interior. Volkswagen’s convertible bug is an airy, cute and clever version of the car that once redefined the very term “automobile” in the U.S.. Introduced in 1949 as the ‘type 15’ and reinvented in 2003 after a hiatus from the mainstream, the Beetle is an icon of the internal combustion engine, with seating for four adults and a happy-go-lucky character.
This year’s model looks both more modern and more retro at the same time, with a flattened-out, aerodynamic stance that juxtaposes design elements like plain button wheels.
Each year I attend the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, which I fondly refer to as the Automotive Olympics! This is the most action packed and exciting automotive industry event of the year for me. The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. The SEMA Show is not open to the public so I wanted to share a taste of the show and some cool products women 'Auto-Know-About' from an insiders view.
Of course I walked my feet clear out of my shoes each day and night attending a slew of award events, meetings and appearances, here are some highlights:
Tire Industry Industry Awards - Congratulations to Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center, a second-generation family-owned and operated independent tire dealer with four retail locations in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, has been named the Winner of the 2012 Tire Review Top Shop Award.
Got a Sneak Look at Cooper Tire's Fuel Saving Touring Tire
The CS3, which replaces the Cooper Tire Lifeliner GLS is going to be one of the lightest tires in its class, which means more fuel efficiency,(coming in April 2013). Cooper’s innovation continues, in part, through two recently-awarded grants. The first, $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, will aid in the development of a lightweight, fuel-efficient tire with a 20% reduction in weight and a 30% reduction in rolling resistance compared to today’s passenger tires. The second grant, $6.9 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,will aid in Cooper’s development of a domestic source of natural rubber through the guayule plant.
Did you know that the air inside your vehicle may be dirtier than the air outside? YUKKK. The FRAM Fresh Breeze® Cabin air filter is the only cabin air filter that uses the natural deodorizing qualities of ARM & HAMMER® baking soda. These two powerhouse brands have joined forces to help absorb odors and freshen the air. Filters 98% of road dust and road pollen. Arm & Hammer® baking soda combined with carbon embedded into the filter assist in cleaning outside air flowing through the vehicle's ventilation system.
AutoTex PINK was founded by Wexco’s President, Paula Lombard. Paula wanted to create a product and a brand that was made by and for women. That is why with each sale of AutoTex PINK products, a donation will be made to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (US) or the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CN). Through these partnerships, AutoTex PINK hopes to support those affected by breast cancer by helping to increase awareness and contribute to the fight to “Wipe Out Breast Cancer!” AutoTex PINK is giving your car a voice; with either a classy pink ribbon on our traditional black wiper blades or with our AutoTex PINK Plus model, an all pink windshield wiper blade that proudly shows your support with each passing mile.Visit one of our AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly® locations to purchase AutoTexPink Wiper Blades.
MOM was there!
Motor Oil Matters (MOM) is the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) new program for licensing motor oil distributors and oil change locations.
MOM has one main goal: to make sure that consumers receive high-quality oil. This is accomplished by maintaining a secure chain-of-custody for motor oil from the marketer all the way to the vehicle. The MOM mark will help identify distributors and oil change locations committed to providing motor oil meeting the performance standard recommended by most vehicle and engine manufacturers.
MOM will help:
Educate consumers and the motor oil industry
Establish credibility within the motor oil industry
To mark the beginning of darker days and to shed some light on automotive lighting myths, SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting debuted the first video in its SYLVANIA “Truth Sleuths” series at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo 2012 (AAPEX). These webisodes take automotive lighting myths into the lab and out to the real world to find out what’s fact and what’s fiction.
The first video in the series explores what happens to a vehicle’s headlights over time – whether they dim with use or just burn out. Viewers are given a first-hand look at the differences between new headlights and worn headlights, both in the lab and on the road.
Watch The Sylvania Headlight “Truth Sleuths” Video
Keep Your Vehicle Looking Young with Simple Enhancements from 3M
There’s nothing like the look, and smell, of a shiny new car! Keep these essentials handy to keep your vehicle sparkling like new both inside and out. From products that clean and protect to those that improve paint imperfections, any car owner can give their vehicle a simple face-lift and keep it looking like a million bucks.
3M Auto Essentials (Restore, Tire, Scrub, Glass, & Wax) – new do-it-yourself line of car care products makes upkeep easier than ever. Includes All-Purpose Scrub, Tire Shine, Spray Wax, Leather & Vinyl Restore and Glass Cleaner to help owners keep their car in top condition for less.
3M Scratch Remover – improve simple damage such as light-to-medium scratches, swirl marks or paint imperfections. Contains no wax, and removes the scratches, doesn’t just fill them in. May be used by hand or with a machine.
3M Rubbing Compound -- if paint is in need of more care use Rubbing Compound first to safely removes fine scratches, water spots,oxidation and swirl marks. And then follow it up with 3M Scratch Remover to improve the look of your paint.
3M Synthetic Wax Protectant -- finally, protect paint with 3M Synthetic Wax Protectant to give your car the ultimate deep gloss finish and help guard the paint’s appearance. Use it with a white foam pad and an orbital sander or polisher to protect your car from the elements.
3M Microfiber Detail Cloth – for routine cleaning or repairing imperfections in paint, the Microfiber Detail Cloth is the perfect cloth to safely use on your vehicle’s surface.
The 3M Auto product line, and there is so much more for DIYers on 3M Auto products and how-to videos, visit www.3MAuto.com.
Eco Innovation from Universal Lubricants Oil FlexPak
Officials with the 2012 Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) this week awarded Universal Lubricants®, the manufacturer and distributor of one the world’s most advanced motor oils, the 2012 New Packaging Award for Innovation for its ECO ULTRA® FlexPak™. The award was presented to Universal Lubricants during an AAPEX awards ceremony on Monday, October 29 in Las Vegas where the ECO ULTRA 1-quart FlexPak made its debut. Universal Lubricants®, the manufacturer and distributor of ECO ULTRA®, one the world’s most advanced motor oils, introduced the nation’s first retail motor oil packaged in a sustainable, flexible stand-up pouch. Compared to conventional hard plastic bottles, the new durable FlexPak™ offers consumers a faster, easier and cleaner way to change their oil, giving retailers a unique opportunity to bring customers an exciting, high-performance product in an environmentally responsible package.
One of only five manufacturers in the U.S. to collect and re-refine used oil, Universal Lubricants’ ECO ULTRA® Synthetic Blend Motor Oil is made from high-quality re-refined base stocks and blended with premium performance additives.
Clean Up with Craftsman® Remote Control Wet Dry Vac with Wall Mounting Kit
The Craftsman Remote Control Wet Dry Vac with Wall Mounting Kit features a convenient remote control on-off switch plus a wall mounting kit that makes it ideal for garage and workshop use.
The remote control on/off switch is located on the contour wand. This eliminates the need to walk back and forth between the cleaning task location and the vacuum tank in order to turn the vac on or off.
The wall mounting kit makes this vac ideally suited for dedicated use in the garage or workshop, where frequent project clean-up is required. Yet, this compact 5 gallon vac can also be detached from the wall mounting kit to allow for portable hand-carry cleaning around the home or jobsite when required.
This vac offers all the accessories you need for wet dry vac projects including a cartridge filter, foam sleeve for wet pick-up, dust collection bag, two extension wands, floor/squeegee nozzle, car nozzle, dust brush and air/noise diffuser.
Last but not least I even squeezed in an A-GNO (Automotive -Girls Night Out) with some of my wonderful women automotive expert friends and partners, Paula Lombard and Aimee (AutoTexPink), Shelia Beam (VehicleMD), Bogi Lateiner (180 Auto), Jeanne Silver (CarStar & Collision Industry Foundation) and race car driver Erin Evernham!
By Jody DeVere who is a internationally recognized speaker, trainer, often quoted industry pundit and spokesperson for the automotive industry on the women's market. She has been featured by the New York Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox Business, Forbes Women, Oprah Magazine and Parenting Magazine to name a few. As CEO of AskPatty.com, she provides automotive education to women consumers and an interactive online Certified Female Friendly® certification training program for automotive retailers on how to attract, sell, retain and market to women.
Maintaining your car is an essential part of ownership. Failure to maintain it properly will result in some serious problems – high costs for repairs or even the need to replace major components (like your engine or transmission), for instance. While you can certainly benefit from letting a mechanic or dealership take care of your maintenance steps, there are plenty of things you can do on your own to save time, money and hassle. What should you know about these steps?
Wiper Blade Replacement
Good wipers are essential to staying safe on the road while it’s raining. Of course they’re often overlooked – it’s easy to forget that your wipers are worn out when you don’t actually need to use them. You don’t need to head to a shop to have these replaced. Buy a set of replacement blades at the auto parts store, undo the clip, pull off the old blade (assembly, not just the rubber) and slide the new one in place. As a note, it’s easier to replace the entire wiper than just the rubber blade.
Your air filter is an integral part of the engine and ensures the engine gets the air necessary for combustion while preventing dust and other contaminants from getting in. Replacing your air filters is pretty simple – just undo the housing, remove the old one and install the new filter. Opening the housing will be the trickiest part of the entire process (will vary based on model, but usually requires no more than undoing a handful of clips).
If you’ve got a spare few minutes and don’t mind getting under your car, you can change your oil and oil filter on your own. Make sure you have the right type and quantity of oil and the right filter for the engine, then take off the oil filler cap. Slide under your car with a wrench that will fit the drain plug. Remove the plug (after putting a catch pan in place), and let the old oil drain out. Remove the filter and replace it with a new one (lube the new gasket first). Put the drain plug back in the pan and refill the oil.
The Car Care Council Women’s Board is comprised of professional men and women from the automotive aftermarket who are dedicated to providing career leadership to women in the automotive aftermarket, providing car care information to female audiences and encouraging youngpeople to investigate opportunities in the automotive aftermarket. For more information, visit http://women.carcare.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Organized by the Car Care Council Women’s Board, the annual awards and a reception are sponsored by a variety of aftermarket companies and organizations. The 2012 sponsors include: Robert Bosch LLC, SKF Automotive Division, Tenneco, The Timken Company, Automotive Communication Council (ACC), N.A. Williams Company, Maximum Marketing Services, Mobile Air ConditioningSociety (MACS), MOTOR Information Systems and Snap-on, Inc.
Jody DeVere CEO AskPatty.com was honored as the she was named the ninth annual Aftermarket Woman of the Year by the Car Care Council Women's Board.
Amy Mattinat, owner of Auto Craftsmen in Vermont and one of the top expert automotive women advisors for AskPatty.com was honored as The Car Care Council’s Female Service Shop Owner of the Year.
Andrea Schultz was selected as the first-ever Woman of Promise by the Car Care Council Women's Board.
Each year, the SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) recognizes the top individuals for their contributions to women in industry. The winners of these awards were recognized at the 2012 SEMA Speed Networking Breakfast Powered by SBN.
Lauren Fix was the recipient of the “Woman of the Year “ Award from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Businesswomen’s Network and The Car Care Council’s “Automotive Communications Award” for public relations efforts. “This is such a great honor, said Lauren Fix, "I was so surprised to receive this honor from my peers. SEMA Business Womens Network has been an important part of my career and we are blessed to be among the best women in the business."
Karen Gietzen-Stewart Ford North America Advanced Planning and Innovation Manager accepted the award for Ford Motor Company, who was the recipient of the Athena Award for their support of the SEMA Mustang Build Powered By Women, better known as "High Gear," was unveiled at 2012 SEMA Show in the Ford booth. TheSBN launched the project to showcase 40 women designers and engineers of the automotive industry. With SEMA and Ford Motor Co. teaming up forthe build, an additional 40-plus SEMA member companies, donated products and services, which includes custom paint,customized wheels, a custom leather interior,high performance suspension, and a new supercharger autographed by industry legend Vic Edelbrock. More information can be found on http://www.SEMA.org/SEMAMustangBuild
Doug Evans, Executive Vice President, Performance Automotive Group for Source Interlink Media, LLC was recipeint of the Mentor of the Year Award which was created to acknowledge and honor an individual for their wisdom,encouragement, and willingness to "help others along" as a foundation for growth within and for our industry. "Advocating for women in the automotive industry is something I am dedicated to so to be recognized by this group of businesswomen is particularly gratifying," Evans said.
More Rocking Women!
Amy Faulk, founder of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). The SBN
will mark its 20th anniversary in 2013, and no conversation about
Rockin' Automotive Women would be complete without the inspirational Amy
Faulk, founder of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). Faulk grew up
around cars, starting her racing career in 1978 when her husband Kenny,
a mechanic and race car builder, fired his driver and put his wife in
the driver’s seat of the modified Volkswagon he’d built. Faulk went on
to become the first woman to win a national event in an alcohol
dragster. She was also the first woman to win an NHRA division
championship, one of the first to work in the performance auto-parts
industry and to be elected to the SEMA Board of Directors. She also
created the MPMC Media Trade Conference.
accomplishments include 1979 NHRA Super Stock World Champion, the 1980
Car Craft Magazine Driver of the Year, 2002 SEMA Hall of Fame, 2003 NHRA
Division 2 Sportsman Hall of Fame Award (first woman recipient), the
first recipient and the inspiration of the NHRA Appreciation Award, SEMA
Person of the Year and 2009 NHRA Hall of Fame Recipient.
1993, Faulk saw a need for a committee that fit the needs of women in
the industry, and the SBN was created. She is currently the CEO of
Hypertech and is still drag racing in the Stock Eliminator category,
striving to be the only person—male or female—to win national events in
The first and only all female team in Hot Rodders of Tomorrow. One of the biggest crowds at SEMA gathered to watch teams of young engine builders compete in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow challenge. The competition started Monday afternoon as 13 teams from around the country showed off their skills and teamwork.
The Gear Up Girls Event at the SEMA Show! — with Bogi Lateiner, Camee Edelbrock, Sara Morosan, Theresa Contreras, Christina Kwan, Jamie Apodaca Eriksen, Marla Moore, Julia Johnson, Luanne F Brown, Susan Roba Carpenter, JoAnn Bortles and Rose Kawasaki.
The Gear Up Girl Networking event is an incredible opportunity to connect with---and encourage female students who have an interest in working in our industry. I met the Heart Wrenchers women who started a club for the women enrolled in the Automotive Technology programs at Skyline College. Skyline's Auto Techprogram has had two female graduates in THE LAST TEN YEARS. They hope to change that! They now have eight outstanding women enrolled and they are well on their way to careers in the automotive industry.
Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenger: Alexis DeJoria began her first full season of Nitro Funny Car racing with Kalitta Motorsports in2012 after joining the team for four races late in the 2011 campaign. DeJoria qualified at three of the four Nitro races she entered in 2011. She also made it to the Finals in Bristol, TN earlier this year, an incredible feat for a rookie driver.DeJoria competed in Top Alcohol Funny Car competition for five seasons. She is one of just two women ever to win an NHRA Alcohol Funny Car event. She began drag racing in the Super Gas category and also campaigned a Super Comp dragster. Alexis' career best run is a 4.040 @ 313.66 mph at the 2012 Toyota Supernationals at Englishtown, New Jersey.
To celebrate Fall Car Care Month, Firestone Complete Auto Care™
is offering a car care infographic and key tips for consumers to keep
their vehicles running newer, longer and to encourage safe seasonal
driving. This graphic highlights some areas of car care that Jane Q. Driver (myself included) may be neglecting! When is the last time you had your tires rotated? Checked your coolant level? If the answer is "probably too long," you're not alone. Check out the graphic for more tidbits and tips
Imagine a vaccine that would create a world free of breast cancer!
Help us put the Brakes on Breast Cancer and at the same time give you
FREE Brake Pads! Please join us in supporting a great cause, the
Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Fund. During October, shops from across the United States have teamed up
and are offering free brake pads to their customers. For every brake
service performed at one of these shops, our customer will receive their
brake pads for free and just pay for the labor and other parts. What's more - they will donate 10% of that brake service to The Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund.
Find a shop near you and help put the Brakes on Breast Cancer!