High-Tech Engine Care

Auto Insurance Tips Vehicle History Reports Flood-Damaged Cars Sythentic Motor Oil Repair or Replace Brakes College Move Used Car Shopping

Tips On Caring For High-Tech Engines

(NAPSI)—New technologies used in the engines of the latest cars may require drivers to rethink car care so that they get the most from their engines.

That’s because these newer technologies, such as direct injection, are generally more sensitive to the buildup of gunk, which can have a negative impact on an engine’s performance—even more so than in conventional engines.

Modern direct injection technology places the fuel injector directly into the combustion chamber, allowing for increased power and efficiency. However, the fuel injector is subject to greater heat and pressure, which can cause a breakdown of cleaning agents, allowing the buildup of gunk. This gunk can impair fuel flow, which can reduce power and efficiency.

On The Horizon

J.D. Power and Associates forecasts that in the next four years, the number of vehicles with direct injection engines will more than triple from the 10 percent reported in 2010.

With advanced engine technologies becoming more prevalent, car owners are looking for tips to best care for and maintain their cars.

Tips From The Pros

To help, Shell surveyed 450 automotive mechanics from across the country to gather practical advice on how consumers can best care for their vehicles to increase longevity and protect performance.

Here are some of their tips:

• It may sound simple, but changing oil at manufacturer-suggested intervals is important.

• The same is true when it comes to replacing essential fluids. Make sure it’s done on a timely basis following your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation.

• Rotating and aligning tires regularly can improve mileage and make for less wear and tear on the tires.

• Nearly 80 percent of the mechanics surveyed agreed that vehicle owners with newer engine technologies—such as turbo, hybrids and direct injection—should fill up with high-quality gasoline.

While using a high-quality gasoline is important, using a high-quality premium gasoline, particularly in vehicles that require or recommend premium fuel, can provide benefits that go beyond high octane. For example, Shell V-Power premium gasoline is designed to work under the extremely hot temperatures found in direct injection vehicles. By maintaining thermal stability, it protects against gunk to deliver optimum performance.

Gasolines are required by federal standards to include cleaning agents. However, some gasolines stand out by including more cleaning agents than required. Shell V-Power premium gasoline, for example, contains five times the amount of cleaning agents to provide maximum protection of intake valves and fuel injectors.

Auto manufacturers recognize that a clean engine allows it to perform at optimum efficiency levels and they recommend consumers use high-quality fuels to power their vehicles.

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Commercial Auto Vs. Personal Auto Insurance

(NAPSI)—Whether your company owns and operates a fleet of pickup trucks for plowing snow or a single car to make business trips, the reality is many businesses use the same vehicle for business and personal reasons. But not all business use requires a commercial auto insurance policy. So how do you know which you need?

Factors to Consider

Since every business is unique and each insurance company uses different standards, it’s a good idea to consult a professional business insurance agent. Some of the variables that can help you determine if your business requires a commercial auto insurance policy include:

• Number of vehicles owned

• Who’s driving the vehicle(s)—If you need to list other employees as drivers, you need commercial insurance

• How often the vehicle(s) is (are) used for commercial purposes—talk to your agent about what is defined as “business use”

• Type and size of vehicle(s)

• Registration—if the vehicle(s) is (are) registered in the name of the business, you need commercial insurance.

For example, you own a small dry-cleaning business and own two vans that your employees use five days a week to pick up and drop off your customers’ orders. You sometimes use the van to run errands or grab lunch, but they are primarily used for business purposes. The title of both vans is in the name of your business.

So what do you think—does the dry-cleaning owner need personal or commercial auto insurance? If you guessed commercial auto insurance, you guessed right.

Safeguard Your Vehicles

Similar to personal auto insurance, a commercial auto policy will likely include a combination of bodily injury, property damage, collision and comprehensive coverage, including:

• Vehicle repair or replacement after an accident

• Damage caused by theft, vandalism or inclement weather

• Property damage expenses

• Injury or damage to others

• Medical bills.

Also, if your company’s vehicle is involved in an incident that causes damage to someone’s property or gets in an accident with another car, driver, passenger or pedestrian, commercial auto insurance would offset related costs.

Get Further Advice

Visit to learn more.

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Car Buyer Beware

(NAPSI)—There are several ways to buy a used car, but whether you choose to buy from a dealer, online or from someone you know, it’s always a smart idea to protect yourself. These tips can help:

Ask for an independent inspection. Be sure the car has no major problems that you will have to deal with later.

Find out if the car was involved in an accident. In the U.S. , a car accident occurs every 60 seconds. You need to know when buying a used car that it is safe to drive and will protect you. If the car was in an accident, ask a mechanic to make sure it was fixed properly.

To help you make an informed and confident decision, ask for a Carfax Vehicle History Report. These reports reveal prior damage reported to Carfax, such as accidents and subsequent repairs. Pay extra attention if you find a salvage title or air-bag deployment. To get Carfax Reports and learn more, visit

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Don’t Get Soaked By A Flood-Damaged Car

(NAPSI)—Recently, a number of extreme storms and hurricanes left thousands of cars in the surrounding areas damaged by floodwaters.

Unfortunately, it’s common for many of these flood-damaged cars to end up back on the road every year. But by doing a little homework, you can avoid buying a car that is rotting from the inside out.

To help, here are some tips:

• Check the trunk, glove compartment and below the seats for signs of water damage, such as mud or rust.

• Flex the wires beneath the dashboard. Wet wires will become brittle upon drying and may crack.

• Take a deep breath and smell for musty odors from mildew.

• Ask to see a vehicle history report. For example, Carfax Reports can reveal many hidden problems, including if a vehicle has reported flood damage.

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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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Give Your Car A Brake

(NAPSI)—If you’re like most motorists, you’re concerned about safety. In fact, research shows that vehicle safety is a top motivator for most motorists when it comes to vehicle maintenance and the brake system is at the top of the vehicle safety checklist.

“Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they’re going to need to be replaced for both performance and safety reasons,” explained Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of conditions. However, many motorists are unaware of the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair.”

What To Look For

It’s important to be alert and recognize the warning signs of brake trouble. If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, you should inspect your brakes. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing.

What To Do

For routine maintenance, check your vehicle’s braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test-drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

What Not To Do

Several factors that affect brake wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material.

“Never put off routine brake inspections or any needed repair, such as letting the brakes get to the ‘metal-to-metal’ point, which can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill,” White added. “If you haven’t checked your brakes in the past year, it’s a great time to ‘give your car a brake’ and make sure it’s in safe working condition.”

The Car Care Council’s “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promotes the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.

Where To Learn More

For a “Car Care Guide” or more information, visit

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Helping Your Student Move Home

(NAPSI)—Over the course of a school year, students collect more than information—they also collect a lot of stuff. Fortunately, getting all that stuff home at the end of the semester doesn’t have to be difficult. To help, here are a few tips from the pros that know at Penske Truck Rental:

• Planning Your Move Starts With Selecting The Right-Size Truck. The majority of students find that a 12- or 16-foot truck is adequate when moving out of a college residence or off-campus apartment.

• Advance Registrations Are Key. Try to reserve the kind of truck you will need, along with any moving accessories, at least two weeks in advance.

• Safety Is Key. Investing some time and effort to get to know your rental truck will pay off, especially for long moves. Remember, a truck is likely to be taller, wider and heavier than standard consumer vehicles. That means you may have to drive more slowly and take extra precautions.

Also, park in well-lit areas and padlock the rear door. Just in case, remember that Penske offers 24/7 emergency roadside assistance and optional protection plans.

• Accessories Can Make The Moving Experience Easier—And More Orderly. Accessories, such as boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, moving blankets and hand trucks, are essential moving tools and can make the process a lot easier.

• Some Things Don’t Belong On The Truck. Important paperwork, credit cards, identification, a change of clothes, drinks and snacks should be kept close at hand in a travel bag.

• Making The Move Home Work For Everyone. College counselors advise students and their parents do four things once the truck is unpacked:

1. Both parents and students need to be realistic about house rules and responsibilities.

2. Compromise is everyone’s friend. For example, curfew may no longer be appropriate, but parents may expect to be notified of late nights out.

3. Having a sense of humor can help; ordering a pizza at 2:00 a.m. is “normal” at college but might seem strange at home.

4. Take a deep breath and remember the arrangement is just temporary.

Learn More

For more useful moving tips, visit

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Getting The Right Price When You Sell Your Car

(NAPSI)—Selling your car yourself may be easier-and more financially rewarding-than you realize. Here are some tips:

• Come Clean. Start by throwing away all trash and removing all personal items from the vehicle. Some believe that having the car detailed before you list it is an investment that can pay off at sale time.

• Check it Out. Have a trusted mechanic inspect your car. The mechanic’s analysis and feedback can help you develop a negotiating strategy, particularly if there are parts of the car in need of repair.

• The Right Price. Setting the right price for your car is key. Set it too high and you waste time-too low and you lose money. Fortunately, you can refer to the Kelly Blue Book to determine the car’s value.

Sellers can also purchase the Carfax “Unlimited For Sale By Owner” package. It provides interested buyers with the detailed Carfax history of your vehicle.

To learn more, visit

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