Free Car Care Guide

Michelin's Quest For Adventure Pickup Bed Covers Prep Engine for Winter Storage Winter Roads 6 Warning Signs Sniff Test All-Wheel Drive Design and Win

Free Car Care Guide For Motorists

(NAPSI)—When it comes to keeping your car running smoothly, one of the most important pieces of equipment may not be under the hood but in the glove compartment.

Free Auto Guide

That’s because that’s the place to put the totally redesigned “Car Care Guide” from the nonprofit Car Care Council. The 80-page guide uses easy-to-understand, everyday language rather than technical automotive jargon and covers the most common preventive maintenance occasions and procedures that should be performed to keep cars safe, dependable and efficient. It also includes descriptions of major vehicle systems and parts, and a list of questions to ask about maintenance or repair procedures. A car care checklist reminds motorists what vehicle systems need to be maintained and when service should be performed.

Twenty additional pages provide new information on finding an automotive repair shop, alternative fuels, understanding the warranty, vehicle telematics, and careers in the auto care industry, and include an expanded environmental awareness section.

Expert Advice

“Because properly maintained vehicles perform more safely and dependably for drivers and their families, the Car Care Council is committed to providing useful information and tools for motorists, like the newly updated, easy-to-follow ‘Car Care Guide,’ to help take the mystery out of auto service and repair,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

How To Get The Information

Available in English and Spanish, individual copies of the new guide can be ordered, free, from For more information, visit or follow the Car Care Council on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Contest Celebrates Over A Century Of Innovation

(NAPSI)—One hundred and twenty-five years ago, the Michelin brothers founded a tire company in France that would grow to become a global leader in innovation and quality.

To commemorate this anniversary, Michelin North America is encouraging people to travel in search of the famous Michelin Man in order to win prizes.

Called “Michelin’s Quest for Adventure,” the contest is being conducted in cooperation with Geocaching—the world’s largest location-based activity.

What Is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure-hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

In this case, the geocaching contest will award prizes to individuals who find one of nearly 1,500 Michelin Man tire pressure gauges hidden across the United States and who then share the most creative, adventure-inspired photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the campaign’s hashtag #MichelinQuest.

Each Michelin Man digital tire pressure gauge has a unique alphanumeric code that makes it trackable.

How The Contest Works

In the first phase of the contest, geocachers will voluntarily distribute the 1,500 Michelin Man tire gauge trackables throughout the United States. Within days, all trackables will be hidden and logged. To participate, users can create a free account on, and use a GPS device or smartphone to navigate to a Michelin Man trackable in a geocache nearby.

Once they find a hidden tire pressure gauge, participants should record their find with an original, creative picture. Next, they log the find and share the photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the #MichelinQuest hashtag. The photo posting of the Michelin Man trackable serves as registration for one of the prizes.

Photos And Prizes

The tire gauges do not have to stay in their original locations. Participants are encouraged to move them from geocache to geocache across the country—documenting the adventure and logging the new location for others to find.

Those photos will then be added to the Michelin USA official Facebook page, where the photo that garners the most “likes” will win the grand prize—choosing between two incredible experiences.

The first is a fine dining experience at the exclusive gala to celebrate the launch of the MICHELIN Guide in New York City, San Francisco or Chicago. The MICHELIN Guide has been the gold standard in fine dining since 1900.

The second option is to attend one of the inaugural Formula E races in either Miami or Los Angeles. Formula E is the all-new, electric race car series.

Participants should keep in mind that if their social media account or photo is private or protected, photos will not be visible and thus not considered for the contest.

Michelin’s Quest for Adventure is open to all legal residents of the United States and will run until Dec. 31, 2014.

For more details, along with the contest rules, visit

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Covering Your Pickup’s Bed In Style

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for those who love their pickup truck-whether they use it for work or fun.

There’s a new high-performance bed cover that combines convenience and durability. As an added plus, the cover’s unique design can keep your truck’s fifth wheel hitch covered—good news for those who want to haul a trailer, boat or bike.

Protecting The Fifth Wheel Hitch

Called the Bedlocker Electric from Pace Edwards, the high-performance bed cover protects your fifth wheel hitch and secures the gear you need to store in your pickup’s bed.

Manufactured in a way that makes installation easy, it can be opened and closed with the push of a button. The hard tonneau cover retracts into a canister at the front of the truck bed. There’s a durable black powder-coat finish on rigid aluminum panels that’s both sturdy and attractive.

An electromagnetic brake locks the cover in any position, even while driving, and a low-profile, aerodynamic design can help to save gas.

An Innovative Tonneau

Another convenient option for those seeking a truck bed cover is available from the same manufacturer. Called the SWITCHBLADE, this innovative tonneau can be installed and removed with ease. A Continuous Tension Spring helps the cover retract smoothly and easily in just seconds.

It has a removable canister for total truck bed access and maximum cargo capacity. The only tools needed for installation or removal are a phillips screwdriver and 7/16” wrench. The cover is made with tough ArmorTek construction—a padded polymer bonded to rigid aluminum panels.

To learn more, visit or call (800) 338-3697.

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Properly Prepping Engines For Winter Storage

(NAPSI)—As colder weather approaches, it’s time to start getting your classic cars, motorcycles, boats, lawn mowers and other seasonal equipment ready for storage. But before you stash them away for the winter, invest a few minutes in proper storage techniques to avoid costly engine problems and ensure they start up quickly come spring.

Proper storage of your engine is becoming more important, as most fuel today contains ethanol, which absorbs moisture from the air. Over time when an engine is stored, water will accumulate, separate from the fuel and sink to the bottom of your tank. This can lead to problems like corrosion, stalling and permanent engine damage, which could not only drain your time but your wallet come springtime.

To properly prepare your engines for storage, here are some tips to guide the process:

1. Start by cleaning your machine inside and outside. Make sure all residue and dirt are removed.

2. If your machine has a removable battery, remove it and leave a small trickle charge.

3. Fill your fuel tank up with fresh gasoline, leaving the tank 95 percent full. Avoid draining your fuel tank at all costs, as an empty fuel tank allows for moisture to gather, which leads to corrosion, gum and varnish buildup.

4. Once your tank is full, stabilize your fuel with a stabilizer like STA-BIL® Storage Fuel Stabilizer, adding one ounce to every 2.5 gallons of gasoline, and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the entire fuel system is treated and stabilized. Stabilizing the fuel will protect the fuel system from corrosion, gum and varnish buildup and keeps the fuel fresh for up to 12 months.

5. Change your oil prior to storage, following the recommended amount in your owner’s manual. Before changing the oil, run the engine briefly to warm the oil, to help remove old oil and contaminants.

6. Lastly, store your vehicles and machines in a cool, dry place and cover them to help keep dust and critters at bay.

By investing a little time and energy up front this fall, you will save time, energy and potentially money come springtime when you take your favorite toys and equipment out of storage. To learn more about winter storage tips and stabilizers, visit

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Get Your Car Ready For Winter Roads

(NAPSI)—There are a few things you need to do to keep yourself and your precious cargo—kids, friends, pets—safe on snow, ice, slush, black ice and wet roads. Safety on the road is important all year-round, but winter weather calls for extra caution behind the wheel. That’s why many auto safety experts urge motorists to keep road safety at the top of their checklists this winter and switch to tires specifically designed for cold weather driving.

“Every aspect of a winter tire has been engineered to provide the best performance in winter conditions and temperature fluctuations while maintaining traction on any surface,” said Mark Marrufo of Discount Tire. “Keeping your family safe in every aspect of life is your priority. It is our priority to keep you, your family and your passengers safe while on the road.”

At 45 degrees, vehicles often lose their ability to brake and turn well because of the rubber compound found in all-season tires. That compound begins to gradually harden when temps dip below 45 degrees, meaning decreased road traction and less grip. What’s more, snow and ice often pile up in the tire grooves on all-season tires.

Winter tires, on the other hand, are made with higher-silica compounds. This allows the tire to deliver much better traction, which reduces skidding and improves braking. In fact, in temperatures below 45 degrees, winter tires can provide 25 to 50 percent more traction than all-season tires. Two new tires for this winter that use this technology are the Bridgestone WS80 and Michelin X-Ice Xi3. In addition, specialized tread design, which includes thousands of very small slits—called sipes—provides extra road-biting edges for improved winter traction.

Five Tips For Winter Road Safety:

1. Replace your all-season tires with winter tires for driving in temperatures of 45 degrees or below. Make sure to replace all four tires to avoid an unsafe traction mismatch.

2. Don’t forget the wheels when switching to winter tires. Having a set of wheels specifically for your set of winter tires will save money in the long run.

3. Check tire pressure regularly and don’t forget the spare. Underinflated or overinflated tires may result in poor handling, uneven tread wear and poor fuel consumption.

4. Rotate your tires at least every 5,000 miles or earlier if irregular or uneven wear develops.

5. Make sure the tire shop that gets your tires ready for cold temperatures properly torques the lug nuts to the specifications for your vehicle.

If you’re not sure if you need winter tires, you can get a free safety inspection at any Discount Tire location. For more facts about winter tire safety or to find a Discount Tire store, visit

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Six Vehicle Warning Signs Your Nose Can Notice

(NAPSI)—While most motorists are fond of what’s known as that “new car smell,” there are some other specific odors that motorists should also be aware of.

Identifying these suspect smells early on can help car owners be car care aware and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown.

The Car Care Council recommends a sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:

1. The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that might be rubbing against rotating accessory drive pulleys. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot.

2. The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.

3. The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given.

4. The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car’s cooling system. Do not open the radiator cap when it is hot.

5. The smell of burning carpet could be a sign of brake trouble and a safety hazard. Have your brakes checked right away, especially if this smell is happening during normal driving conditions.

6. If the smell of rotten eggs is coming from your vehicle, it could mean a problem with your catalytic converter or a poorly running engine causing the catalytic converter to become overloaded and fail due to meltdown.

“When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it. Instead, bring your vehicle to a professional service technician that you trust to get an informed opinion on the nature of the odor,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care. For a copy of the council’s “Car Care Guide” or for more information, visit

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Fuel-Saving All-Wheel Drive

(NAPSI)—When purchasing a car, there are a lot of optional features to consider. While some offer convenience and comfort, others, such as an all-wheel-drive system, offer safety, making it one of the most important and helpful options to consider for your next car.

All-wheel-drive systems power all four wheels on the vehicle at the same time rather than just the front or rear wheels, allowing for safer driving because of improved traction and handling performance. These features can improve driving in difficult conditions, including rain, snow and ice-especially beneficial during challenging winter weather.

But all-wheel-drive systems generally come with a cost: in creased fuel consumption.

Now, however, the all-wheel-drive system available on the new 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander 7-passenger crossover—in addition to providing outstanding agility and tractability and improved safety—has been cleverly engineered to reduce fuel consumption.

The electronically controlled Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system features the convenience of push-button activation as well as four distinct driving modes—the standard “NORMAL” mode, enhanced traction in slippery conditions with the “SNOW” setting, maximum traction in “LOCK” and an “AWC ECO.”

In the first three settings, the vehicle operates in full all-wheel drive (4WD) with the engine routing power to all four wheels at all times while the vehicle is moving.

When the driver selects the “AWC ECO” mode, it operates as a more fuel-efficient front-wheel drive (2WD) vehicle that can switch to full all-wheel drive (4WD) in a split second for increased traction and stability the moment sensors detect any wheel slip or loss of traction from any of the vehicle’s wheels. Meaningful fuel savings can be achieved by automatically switching to all-wheel drive only when absolutely necessary.

This system is one of the most sophisticated available on any vehicle today and includes a high-tech Active Front Differential (AFD) for precise delivery of power to the front wheels and Brake Control technology to improve the driver’s control over the vehicle as well as steering response.

Because of its innovative engineering, the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander-an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “Top Safety Pick+”−rated vehicle—offers best-in-class EPA fuel mileage ratings among 7-passenger crossover/SUVs and is one of the highest-fuel-economy SUV/crossovers in its segment in America today.

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Design The Car Of Tomorrow, Win A Scholarship Today

(NAPSI)—High school students can draw a valuable lesson from a major car company’s contest.

All U.S. public high school students in grades 10 through 12 can turn their artistic talents into prizes, including a $60,000 scholarship to the College for Creative Studies (CCS), in the third annual Detroit Autorama High School Design Competition. A private, fully accredited college in Detroit, the College for Creative Studies educates artists and designers to be leaders in creative professions. The College also offers noncredit courses in the visual arts through its Continuing Education programs and opportunities for youth through its Community Arts Partnerships programs.

Contest participants are asked to look to the future and design a next-generation Dodge vehicle for the year 2025, and include a 500-word essay explaining what the Dodge brand means to them.

“The purpose of this competition is to expose students early in their education to the possibility of a career in automotive design while allowing us to connect with young talent and help to develop their artistic skills,” said Mark Trostle, Head of SRT, Mopar and Motorsports Design, Chrysler Group LLC.

Student submissions must be hand drawn on a single sheet of white paper no smaller than 8 by 10 inches and no larger than 11 by 17 inches with the use of pencil, markers or paint. Contest entries must include the student’s name, address, phone number, e-mail, school name and address, and grade level.

The first-place winner gets the scholarship (as long as he or she meets college entry requirements), an Apple MacBook Pro, a three-week summer automotive design course at CCS including housing, meals and field trips, and three passes to Detroit Autorama. Known as America’s greatest hot rod show, Detroit Autorama features nearly 1,000 exhibits. The second- through fourth-place winners get various computers, the summer course and the passes.

All entries must be received at Chrysler Group’s Product Design Office no later than Friday, Jan. 23, via U.S. mail or e-mailed to

The judges include Chrysler Group Product designers and CCS faculty. The finalists will be announced on Jan. 30. For contest rules and information, students can visit They can follow competition updates on, and using the hashtag #DriveForDesign.

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