Has Your Car Been Feeling Left Out In The Cold?
(NAPSI)—It's always there when you need it and it gets you
through all sorts of rough weather. So you may want to give your vehicle a
little something back. Consider setting aside the time to care for your car
by following three simple steps:
• Keep your vehicle clean.
Regular car washes and waxes protect the paint and body of your car from
corrosive debris. If you've been driving on salted roads, regular
washing is even more important.
• Keep your car on schedule.
Every vehicle has a manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule. Whether
you choose to do your own maintenance or patronize a repair shop, following a
routine service schedule is essential to keeping your car in safe and
dependable working order.
• Keep an eye on the little
things. Are your windshield wipers cleaning as well as they should? Is
your gas tank missing its cap? Is there a warning light lit on your
dashboard? When you see that your car needs attention, don't delay.
Repairing small things now can help avoid more-costly problems down the road
and add years of useful vehicle life.
"Many vehicles end up neglected and could use a little extra care to
get them ready for driving season," said Rich White, executive
director, Car Care Council.
"For most Americans, their vehicle is their second-biggest
investment and they rely on it every single day to get to work, school and
everywhere in between. Taking a little time for car care now can save
headaches and money in the long run."
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 free copy of the council's "Car Care Guide" or for
more information, visit www.carcare.org.
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Winter Driving Safety: What You Need To Know
(NAPSI)—When it comes to winter driving, being prepared can help keep you
on the road to safety.
Winter weather can be unpredictable, so it's important to navigate icy, snowy
roads with caution. To help, here are some tips designed to sharpen your
driving skills and get you prepared for winter's worst.
Account For The Conditions
First and foremost, it is important to keep control of your vehicle at all
times. When you encounter snowy conditions, remember to slow down. It takes a
vehicle twice as long to stop on slippery surfaces as it does on dry roads.
If you do not have an ABS system, avoid braking suddenly. Give the brake
pedal a few soft taps rather than one hard push to avoid sending your vehicle
into a skid.
The Right Tires Are Key
Equally important to increasing your winter driving safety is making sure
your car has winter tires. They can play an essential role in your vehicle's
safety, handling and performance when driving in cold-weather road
conditions. Did you know that winter tires can deliver approximately 25
percent more traction on winter roads than all-season tires, which can help
you to stop in time and avoid trouble spots?
Also, as temperatures get colder, your tire's air pressure can change.
This makes it important to check your tire pressure monthly during the winter
season. Ensuring that tires are at the proper inflation levels will help
optimize winter tire performance and can also help improve fuel efficiency.
For example, the Michelin X-IceŽ Xi2 tire is engineered to tackle the most
extreme cold-weather driving conditions. A wide-tread contact patch generates
acceleration and braking power, as well as cornering traction, for
outstanding winter maneuvering.
Getting the facts on winter driving techniques and taking the time to have
your vehicle checked before venturing out on the roads this winter can make
all the difference when it comes to safety.
To learn more, visit www.michelinman.com.
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Give Your Car The Brakes It Deserves
(NAPSI)—Before you try to stop your car again, you may want to start
thinking about your brakes.
Consider the strength and power it takes to bring a 4,000-pound or heavier
vehicle from 60 mph to a quick, safe stop. Many drivers take their brakes for
granted until they squeal, grind or, worse, stop working altogether.
Before that happens, you can get your brakes checked at a qualified,
licensed service center. Driving with worn brakes is dangerous for you, your
passengers, fellow motorists and pedestrians. Regular brake inspections also
help prevent expensive damage and avert potential safety issues.
Most cars today are equipped with disc brakes. When you put your foot on
the brake pedal, fluid triggers a piston in a caliper to press the brake pad
against a rotor on the wheel. The friction of the pad against the rotor stops
the hub and wheel—and, therefore, the vehicle.
The friction from braking also generates intense heat and brake dust as
the pads begin to wear. When pads get too thin, not only can braking ability
be compromised, but the heat can damage the rotors and lead to even costlier
Quality brake pads have a built-in wear indicator that makes a
high-pitched noise when the pads are worn. It's your warning to get
your brakes checked as soon as possible.
Other signs that you may need brake service:
• Your stopping distance is increasing, causing a longer braking
• You have to push the brake pedal unusually far to engage the
• Your vehicle has a tendency to move right or left when the brakes
• The steering wheel shakes in your hands as you come to a stop.
(This could mean your rotors are damaged, or "warped," and need
When your brakes or rotors need replacing, use quality, tested products
designed for your vehicle. Premium ACDelco Professional
DuraStop brake pads, for example, are covered by a
limited lifetime warranty and made for most vehicles on the road today and a
variety of needs and budgets.
Extend brake life by:
• Getting regular brake maintenance
• Not riding your brakes
• Not slamming on your brakes
• Removing brake dust and mud from your wheels with regular car
• Making sure brake fluid is at the proper level.
It's a good idea to have your auto repair facility check your brakes
every time you change your oil or according to the schedule in your owner's
To find a nearby service center, visit www.acdelco.com
and click on "Find a
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Driving A Bargain
(NAPSI)—Some new-car buyers are getting a glimpse into the future—and
not just at the high-tech capabilities of the vehicle.
In addition, they get a look at what that car will be worth when they're
done with it. After all, purchasing a new vehicle can be one of life's
big events. You want to know everything you can about the true value of your
options, including the future trade-in value of the vehicle you're
How It Works
That's where a new program that futureproofs the value of your new
car comes in. The dealers provide a written guarantee that says exactly how
much the car will be worth two, three or four years from date of purchase.
If you go back to the dealer at any time during months 24 through 48 of
ownership, you can trade in your qualifying vehicle toward the purchase of a
new one. The vehicle is assessed to determine the current market value, which
is then compared to the guaranteed value. The higher of either the guaranteed
value or the current market value, less any applicable mileage charges or
damage costs, can be applied to the purchase of a new Hyundai. The guarantee,
dealers say, is possible because Hyundai's residual values are among
the highest in the industry.
What Else You Get
In addition, all the company's vehicles sold in the
are covered by a complimentary Assurance program, which includes a
five-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new-vehicle warranty, a 10-year/
100,000-mile power train warranty and five years of complimentary roadside
assistance as well as the trade-in value guarantee.
Meanwhile, the company's engineers and designers have a few more
ideas in mind when it comes to forward-thinking technology. These include:
• A fuel-cell electric vehicle that doesn't need heavy
batteries, can go up to 400 miles between refueling and never needs to be
• Location sharing, which sends your vehicle location to your
friends and followers on social networking sites so they can keep track of
your urban adventures.
• A roof made of a translucent composite covered by a glass skin for
a major weight savings.
• Composite body panels and an elastic front safety system that
reduces the chance of pedestrian injury.
For more information and a look at the other forward-thinking aspects of
these cars, you can visit www.Hyundai.com
or call (800) 633-5151.
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For Gifts That Give Back, Think Vehicle Donation
(NAPSI)—This holiday season, giving a generous gift doesn't
have to mean breaking the bank. Instead, you can get on the road to giving
joy by donating your old car. Vehicle donation is one gift option that's
sometimes overlooked, but, to charities, it's the gift that keeps on
A recent donation behavior study found that nearly three out of four
Americans have made charitable contributions in the last five years. Of
these, 69 percent donated cash, 67 percent donated used goods and 47 percent
donated their time.
According to the report, however, only 6 percent have ever donated a used
vehicle and 76 percent of the rest said they never even considered doing so.
"Donating one car can generate enough cash to supply a month's
worth of food for a family of five or provide more than two years'
worth of generic drugs for a senior citizen," said Pat Walsh, who
oversees the national vehicle donation campaign, One Car One Difference. "That's
why we launched the One Car One Difference program: to help raise the public's
awareness about the ease and benefits of donating vehicles, and convert
donated cars to much-needed funds for charities."
The program's partners, which include the National Kidney
Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, Society of St. Vincent
de Paul, the American Heart Association, select chapters of Ronald McDonald
House Charities, Boy Scouts of America and the Yellow Ribbon Registry
Network, work closely with it to demonstrate the benefits of vehicle
To donate your car or learn more, you can call (877) 557-1CAR or go to www.1car1difference.com.
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Easy Steps Toward Green Driving
(NAPSI)— "Green driving" may be easier—and more
important—to achieve than many people think.
It's important because, according to the Environmental Protection
Agency, highway vehicles account for 28 percent (1.5 billion tons) of U.S.
CO2 emissions each year. Fortunately, even if getting a "green"
or emissions-friendly vehicle isn't in your budget, you can still
reduce your car's footprint on the planet. Here are some tips to
• Stay tuned. Keep your
car in shape by following the manufacturer's recommendations for
maintenance. Fixing a vehicle in need of a tune-up can improve gas mileage up
to 4 percent.
• Take care of your tires.
Make sure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer's recommended
pressure. Keeping your tires aligned and balanced can also improve your
vehicle's fuel economy up to 3 percent. Don't inflate your tires
to the maximum pressure printed on the tire sidewall. Properly inflated tires
are safer and will last longer.
• Replace a clogged air
filter. If you have an older vehicle with a carbureted engine, replacing
a clogged air filter can improve your fuel economy up to 6 percent. Air
filters keep impurities from damaging the interior of the engine, so
replacing the dirty filter will save gas and protect your engine.
• Upgrade your motor oil.
Try high-performance synthetic oil. Premium automotive products such as Royal
Purple synthetic oils are formulated with unique advanced additive technology
that can improve the performance of the vehicle and allow for longer
intervals between changes. With fewer oil changes, not only are you keeping
the water and ground clean by reducing waste of used oil, you're saving
money by spending less time in the shop. Royal Purple motor oil has been
reported to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 5 percent compared to
ordinary petroleum-based or synthetic lubricants. It's also been shown
to produce notable horsepower and torque increases, so you can switch to an
environmentally friendly product without sacrificing performance.
• Recycle. Ask your oil
change installer about recycling used oil. If you do your own oil changes,
find a place that will accept your used motor oil. Royal Purple has partnered
with Earth911 to provide recycling centers that take items such as used motor
oil bottles, motor oil and oil filters.
Learn more at www.fueleconomy.gov
and www.royalpurple.com. To find a
nearby recycling location, visit www.earth911.com.
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Staying Safe On The Roads
(NAPSI)—When it comes to staying safe on the roads, motorists may
want to take a few cues from the experts: school bus drivers.
"Our drivers are trained to handle adverse conditions and know that
preparation can make all the difference," said Gary Catapano, senior
vice president of safety for First Student, Inc., a company that transports 6
million students daily.
Here are a few of their tips for winter weather driving:
It Starts Under the Hood
Starting buses on a frigid morning takes planning and preparation.
Checking fuel, battery, tires, fluid levels and wipers should be part of
regular safety and maintenance checks. Have your battery checked, so you don't
hear silence when putting the key in the ignition. Also, make sure wiper
blades and defrosters are in good working condition. Check tire tread for
wear and ensure tires are properly inflated for weather conditions.
Check Fluid Levels
Keep your gas tank above half full; the extra volume can help reduce
moisture problems within your fuel system and adds helpful weight to your
vehicle. Check window washer fluid levels and consider keeping an extra jug
as backup if the roads are sloppy.
"To help prevent a collision on a snow-covered road, slow down and
increase your following distance. If the road you usually travel is on a
grade, avoid it and use an alternative route if possible," said
Catapano. A good rule of thumb is to reduce speed by 50 percent. Bridges and
overpasses are more likely to ice over. Don't assume your vehicle can
handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can
Prepare to Stop
If you have to drive in the snow, test the road first. Check your brakes
in a safe area to see how far it takes to stop. Keep a safe distance from the
vehicle in front, as appropriate for road conditions, to allow for sufficient
time to stop when roads are snow covered or icy. When following a school bus,
keep in mind they may make several stops and starts along their route,
loading and unloading students. Laws in all states require motorists to stop
when the school bus stop arm is extended and red lights are flashing.
During the colder months, be sure to use extra precaution when on the
For More Information
For more information, visit www.firststudentinc.com.
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The Dawning Of A Cool Revolution
(NAPSI)—Take a technology that's been around since the 1880s,
make a few improvements, and suddenly you have the beginning of a cooling
revolution that may rapidly transform motors, generators and a variety of
Here are some little-known facts: Cooling increases power. Get a motor or
engine to run cooler and it'll generate more power. HPEV, Inc. has
successfully demonstrated a new thermal technology that quickly transfers
heat away from an engine, so motors and engines generate up to 30 percent
more power. Cooling reduces costs. Get a motor to generate more power and
manufacturers can reduce the size while keeping the same output. Because HPEV's
technology can be molded into any length or shape and incorporated into the
manufacturing process, it takes up less space, uses less material and,
consequently, reduces the size even more. The result: less cost to
manufacture and cheaper prices to consumers.
Cooling lengthens product life. Heat is a root cause of motor, bearing and
even brake failures. Cool it and products last longer, which saves consumers
money. To that end, the thermal technology is also being tested in
high-performance brakes, rotors and calipers by two racing teams. Cooling is
green. Almost half of all electricity produced worldwide is consumed by
motors and generators. Improving energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest
and most sustainable way to save energy and reduce emissions. HPEV's
thermal technology improves motor and generator performance by 20-40
The potential applications are immense—from pumps and fans to
compressors and uninterruptible power systems, plane and ship engines to
hybrids and electric vehicles. In fact, an electric motor enhanced with
thermal technology is integral to HPEV's hybrid retrofit system that
converts any internal combustion vehicle into a plug-in hybrid electric
vehicle. Converted vehicles will be able to run on fuel and electric power at
the same time. The electric motor adds what HPEV calls an "electric
load assist," which reduces the load on internal combustion engines by
doing the equivalent work of five to 11 gallons of fuel, depending on the
size of the vehicle. This results in fewer emissions as well as greater
maintenance and energy savings.
The company (stock symbol BIBB) was founded last year to commercialize the
Hybrid Plug-in Electric Vehicle, or HPEV, retrofit system. The target market
for this technology includes fleet, commercial and consumer vehicles, ranging
from SUVs to tractor-trailer trucks and buses. As the existing infrastructure
at most vehicle maintenance facilities is sufficient to perform the
conversions, the company plans to license the technology to automotive
dealers and service centers nationwide as well as to fleet owners.
For more information, visit www.hpevinc.com.
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