Drive For
The Kids

Preventive Maintenance Buying A
Used Car
Synthetic Oil Savings Battery Check Save On
Auto Insurance
Moving Safety
School Bus
Safety Tips


Carmaker Is Driven To Help Students Achieve

(NAPSI)—Keeping America’s schools and students on the road to success is no easy task. Teachers, students and school officials often find themselves scrambling to raise funds with little monetary support at the local level.

Fortunately, one of the best-known carmakers in the world is once again stepping up and helping out. For the past 19 years, the Chrysler brand has supported the enrichment of schools in the communities where it does business, contributing over $4 million since its start.

For instance, through its “Drive for the Kids™” fundraising initiative, the carmaker uses its local dealerships to coordinate with parents and teachers to host fundraisers in support of the enrichment of America’s schools.

Making A Contribution

Each year, Chrysler coordinates 300 local fundraisers across the country. Many of these events earn several thousands of dollars that go toward a variety of school initiatives, such as equipment and books, and offset the costs of various student events.

In addition, the school earns a $10 contribution for each test-drive taken in a 2012 Chrysler Town & Country minivan-a vehicle ranked highest in customer loyalty 11 years in a row.

A Chance To Win

Attendees who register for more vehicle information or participate in one or more test-drives are entered automatically into the Chrysler Group national giveaway for a chance to win $45,000 toward any eligible Chrysler Group vehicle.

Plus, the five schools that have the most test-drives this year will win $5,000 for their school.

To sign up and get rolling with a Drive for the Kids fundraiser, visit To learn more about Chrysler, visit


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Practice Preventive Vehicle Maintenance

(NAPSI)—“Preventive maintenance is critical for keeping vehicles operating at optimum levels,” says car-care expert Tricia Hecker, Head of Marketing for Mopar. To help, here are 10 items to check on your vehicle:

1. Brakes: Check pads, shoes, rotors, drums, calipers, wheel cylinders, brake hardware and the parking brake for wear and tear.

2. Tires: Closely inspect the tread and sidewall areas of tires for uneven or irregular wear. Correct air pressure helps prevent premature wear and supports fuel economy. Check the spare, too.

3. Battery: Check for corroded terminals and a bulging or cracked case. Test and replace battery if necessary.

4. Headlamps and Taillamps: Inspect and test all lamps to ensure proper function and alignment.

5. Shocks and Struts: Shocks and struts are the most overlooked service parts on a vehicle, but they affect ride control and comfort and can affect a number of related parts.

6. Engine Oil: Be sure it has the correct viscosity. Engine oil should be changed or replenished at factory-recommended intervals. Low or dirty fluids affect how an engine and its components perform and could cause engine damage.

7. Fluid Levels: All vehicle fluids and lubricants should be checked and changed at factory-recommended intervals. Key fluids include antifreeze/coolant level and concentration, as well as power steering, brake, transmission and windshield washer fluids.

8. Engine Belts and Hoses: Replace belts and hoses at recommended intervals.

9. Air Filter: It protects the engine from airborne contaminants. Poor airflow to the engine inhibits performance and generates greater fuel consumption. A new air filter lets clean, unrestricted airflow into the engine and helps ensure proper performance for a longer life.

10. Wiper Blades: The lineup from Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brands of wiper blades, includes Beam Blades, which provide superior all-weather performance and aid driving visibility.

Mopar (a simple contraction of the words “MOtor” and “PARts”) is the source for all genuine parts and accessories for Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. brands. It services Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, SRT, Fiat, GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia vehicles. A complete list of parts is at An interactive maintenance guide is at Tire rebates are at, battery rebates at

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What You Need To Know When Buying A Used Car

(NAPSI)—Buying a used car is becoming an increasingly common practice. In fact, it’s estimated that just over three used cars are now purchased for every new one sold.

However, just because many people do it, doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the used car that’s right for you. Fortunately, doing a little homework before buying can keep a driver on the road to safety, savings and satisfaction.

To help, here are a few tips from the experts at and OnStar:

• Consider purchasing a certified preowned vehicle: Certified preowned vehicles usually come with extended warranties and have been thoroughly inspected before being sold.

• Make sure the vehicle you’re considering is functional for everyone who will be traveling in it: If searching for a used family vehicle, bring the whole family on an extended test-drive to make sure everyone is comfortable with the vehicle. If you have small children, make sure child safety seats fit and can easily be installed in the vehicle.

• Purchase a vehicle history report report and have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic: By taking both of these actions, you will reduce the chance of unexpected issues later on down the road.

• Ask about promotional programs: Many manufacturers offer specific incentives to purchase their used vehicles. For instance, buyers of used GM vehicles equipped with OnStar are eligible to receive a three-month free trial of its Directions & Connections package, which includes turn-by-turn navigation, automatic crash response, remote door unlock, hands-free calling and more.

• Secure your financing in advance: Because used vehicle loans can vary when it comes to interest rates, visit a bank or credit union before making a final decision so you can be sure you’re receiving the best interest rate.

• Don’t negotiate price based on what you want your monthly payment to be: Monthly payments can always be lowered to fit your budget by extending the length of the loan. Negotiations should be made based on the price of the car, rather than the monthly payment.

• The sale process continues past the acceptance of an offer: After both parties agree upon an appropriate price, dealers usually will offer extra accessories and services you might not be interested in. Be sure to stand firm and make it clear that you are not interested in paying more than the previously agreed upon price.

For more information on OnStar, visit

For more information on AutoTrader, visit

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The Real Truth About Synthetics

(NAPSI)—If you’re like most drivers, when it comes to vehicle maintenance, you use the motor oil the vehicle manufacturer recommends or rely on the service technician for its oil selection.

Lately, more and more manufacturers and other car care experts are recommending synthetic motor oil for new and luxury models.

Facts And Myths

To help you decide what’s best for your car, consider some common myths and facts:

Myth: Using synthetic oil will void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Fact: The engine does not know what the oil is composed of and “cares” only that enough protection is provided. As long as the oil meets the API/ILSAC specs, and any applicable OEM oil specification, the oil will be warranty compliant.

Myth: Once you start with a certain kind of oil you can’t switch between synthetic and nonsynthetic oil.

Fact: High-quality, reputable synthetic engine oils do not adversely or permanently affect seals, gaskets or metal.

Myth: Synthetic oils cause older vehicles to leak.

Fact: Premium synthetic oils have a natural detergency that cleans engine deposits. Older or higher-use engines sometimes have seals and gaskets that are not in good condition. If an older engine has degraded or damaged seals and gaskets, removal of engine deposits may expose existing leak paths. A quick rule of thumb is to inspect the engine, transmission and so on for leaks before a switch.

Myth: I can’t justify paying for premium synthetic motor oil.

Fact: It may even help you save money. High-quality synthetic engine oil such as Royal Purple can go two to three times the typical oil change interval. The reduced oil changes will usually make up for the difference in purchase price by itself. (Fewer oil changes can also save you time, which can be priceless.)

Perhaps the biggest benefit of using high-quality synthetic lubricants, however, is that the engine gets better protection. That means it will not only last longer but perform better over the extended life.

According to a study by Kline & Co., synthetics accounted for about 22 percent of global car oil consumption. In Europe, synthetic motor oils account for most of the market, though the cost is dramatically higher than in the United States.

Learn More

You can find further facts about synthetic oil at


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A Battery Check Today Can Keep The Tow Truck Away

(NAPSI)—Sooner or later, all car batteries have to be replaced. The good news is that by taking a few simple maintenance steps, you can avoid the cost and hassle of getting stranded with a dead battery.

Extreme Heat and Cold

Excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, thus damaging the internal structure of the battery.

A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, can allow too high of a charging rate, leading to slow death for a battery.

Colder temperatures can also be a problem, increasing the thickness of the engine oil, making the engine harder to turn over and the battery work harder. This makes for harder starting.

Battery Tips

To help you get the most life out of a battery, the Car Care Council suggests the following:

• Have your battery tested—and replaced if necessary—in the fall and spring. This reduces the chance a dead battery will leave you stranded on the side of the road.

• Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging.

• If your battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it regularly, especially in hot weather. Add distilled water when necessary.

• Always replace a battery with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified.

• Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.

The Car Care Council is a national nonprofit organization providing information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign that promotes the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair.

For more information, visit

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Seven Ways To Save On Auto Insurance

(NAPSI)--What you pay for your auto insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars, depending on what type of car you drive, your accident history and the insurance company that provides the policy. To save money on your auto insurance policy, keep these seven tips in mind:

1. Ask about discounts. You may qualify for one if you haven’t had any accidents or moving violations for several years. If you drive a lower than average number of miles a year, you may qualify for low mileage discounts. Ask your insurance agent about discounts for:

• Antitheft devices

• Defensive driving courses

• Long-time customers

• Insuring more than one car

• No accidents in three years

• No moving violations in three years

• Student drivers with good grades.

2. Get multiple quotes. Rates can vary greatly and they change often. Review your coverage at least annually.

3. Reduce coverage on older cars. Consider dropping collision or comprehensive coverage on older cars. If the car is worth less than 10 times the annual premium, buying coverage may not be cost-effective. You can look up the value of your car at Kelley Blue Book,

4. Ask for a higher deductible. Deductibles are what you pay out before your insurance kicks in. By getting higher ones, you can lower your costs substantially. Before choosing a higher deductible, however, set aside enough money to pay for needed repairs.

5. Bundle your insurance. You can often get a break if you buy two or more types of insurance from the same provider, such as auto and homeowners. You may also get a discount if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company.

6. Compare costs. Some companies offer a discount if you drive a hybrid or low-profile car. Before you buy a new or used car, check into the insurance costs.

7. Maintain a good credit record. Most insurers factor credit into pricing auto insurance policies. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don’t get more credit than you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Check your credit record regularly and have any errors corrected promptly.

Talk with your friends, family and co-workers about the discounts they receive and ask your insurance agent about discounts specifically available to you.

Visit to learn more.

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Seven Steps Toward Safe DIY Moving

(NAPSI)—You can make a do-it-yourself move less daunting, even if you’re not accustomed to regularly driving a truck, if you follow a few ease-of-mind tips on trucks from the experts at Penske Truck Rental:

1. Get Oriented. Familiarize yourself with the truck’s switches and gauges. Properly adjust the side mirrors for maximum visibility.

2. Plan to Have Plenty of Travel Time. Be mindful of rush hour traffic and plan accordingly.

3. Beware of Blind Spots. Trucks have oversized blind spots known as the “No-Zone,” according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Be aware of these spots, especially when changing lanes or coming to a stop. For more information, visit

4. Be Careful What You Carry. Typically, truck rental agreements contain language from the U.S. Department of Transportation prohibiting the “carrying or hauling of explosives and other dangerous articles.” That means you should avoid packing flammable items such as paint, chemicals and cleaning materials, flammable solvents, propane, gasoline and the like. Your rental agent can clarify the list further for you.

5. Be Aware. “Trucks are taller, wider and may weigh up to 10 times more than the average car,” explained Don Mikes, senior vice president-rental, Penske Truck Leasing.

6. Get Extra Protection. “Most insurance and credit card companies won’t cover truck rentals under existing policies,” Mikes added. If your insurance company is among them, consider signing up for additional coverage options to protect yourself and your belongings. You may feel more confident knowing that his company offers free 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.

7. Learn More. You can find more moving facts and tips at




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School Bus Safety Tips

(NAPSI)—More than 26 million children ride the school bus every day. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, school buses are the safest form of transportation for getting children to and from school, with most serious school bus incidents taking place when children are outside of the bus.

According to the same study, 75 percent of these incidents involve children under the age of 9. To help reduce these incidents, IC Bus, a subsidiary of Navistar, has developed the Safety PASS, four simple safety tips for parents to discuss with their children before they get on the school bus.

To “earn” a safety PASS, passengers should:

Pause—Wait to use headphones, cell phones and MP3 players until you’re a safe distance from the bus.

be Aware—Consider your surroundings and remain alert so you are not distracted when a bus is approaching or departing.

Signal—Watch for the driver’s signal before crossing and always cross 12 feet in front of the bus.

Sit—Remain seated while you are on the bus and keep your voice down so the bus driver can concentrate on the road.

For the past 10 years, IC Bus has been the No. 1 bus manufacturer, designing and manufacturing vehicles with student safety as the primary goal.

School buses are designed to be safer than other passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury. In fact, students in the U.S. are nearly eight times safer riding in a school bus than in a car with a parent or guardian.

Yellow school buses offer a unique combination of safety features, including:

• Strong construction techniques such as reinforced sides, roofs and rear ends;

• Passenger safety devices, including cross-view mirrors and walk gates that enhance the visibility of the students outside the bus;

• Traffic control devices such as the flashing warning lights and stop arms.

For more information, visit or







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