Automotive









 
Moving Tips Replacement Parts Insurance Myths Easing Upset Tummies Saving Squirrels Change Oil Potholes Certified Repair Technicians


Moving Your College Student Home

(NAPSI)-According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 18.3 million students are enrolled at U.S. two- and four-year institutions--and many of them will soon be moving back home.

Penske Truck Rental, a socially conscious company that received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest rating and SmartWay certification, offers these helpful tips to make the move go smoothly:

• Truck Selection. Most college students choose the 12- or 16-foot truck for moving out of a college residence or off-campus apartment.

• Reserve Early. Reserve the truck and any moving accessories at least two weeks in.

• Pack Smart. Bring only what you really need. Load the heaviest items on the truck first. To avoid injury, always bend your knees and lift with your legs.

• Use Accessories. Boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, moving blankets and hand trucks are essential moving tools.

• Safety & Security. Trucks are taller, wider and heavier than standard consumer vehicles. Drive slower and take extra precautions. When traveling, park in well-lit areas and padlock the rear door. Penske offers 24/7 emergency roadside assistance and optional protection plans.

Finally, with most belongings packed tightly away, create a travel bag for moving day to keep important paperwork, credit cards, identification, change of clothes, drinks and snacks close at hand.

Additional moving tips can be found at www.PenskeTruckRental.com.

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Better Parts Are The Better Choice

(NAPSI)-For millions of consumers looking for ways to extend the lives of their current vehicles, one question may arise: Can I save money in the long run by choosing a low-cost, off-brand replacement part?

The answer, according to automotive experts, is: no. The few bucks you might save today could cost you much more in terms of degraded vehicle reliability and performance--and potentially even your driving safety--down the road.

What characteristics should you look for in replacement auto parts? Consumer research points to four key characteristics that separate premium components from those that may be sold at bargain-basement prices: Premium parts are engineered specifically for the vehicle by a leading original-equipment supplier; they help enhance vehicle performance; they help increase overall reliability; and they help improve vehicle safety.

Sacrificing these benefits can make even the most economically priced replacement parts a poor bargain, according to leading automotive manufacturers.

"Getting the cheapest brake job, ball joint replacement or tune-up often isn't a good deal for the consumer--not when they have to put up with performance problems and a shorter product service life," said Michael Proud, North American marketing director for global automotive parts supplier Federal-Mogul Corporation. "Even saving a few dollars on a lesser-quality wiper blade can lead to an installation nightmare and shorter replacement cycle, not to mention potentially dangerous visibility problems."

A growing number of automotive parts providers have recognized that consumers need and want more information about the products installed on their vehicles. To help vehicle owners make informed decisions about auto maintenance and repair, Federal-Mogul, manufacturer of such popular replacement parts as ANCO wipers, Champion spark plugs, MOOG chassis parts, Wagner ThermoQuiet brakes and Wagner lighting products, launched a consumer information portal at www.FMSmartChoice.com. The site also includes a variety of money-saving offers on premium branded products.

This new Web resource also includes convenient links to a variety of industry-sponsored tools, including the popular "Be Car Care Aware" campaign headquarters, which includes detailed information on dozens of vehicle systems and maintenance requirements.

 

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Car Insurance Myths Debunked

(NAPSI)-Do red cars really cost more to insure? Is Comprehensive coverage really comprehensive? Should you and your neighbor be paying the same amount for car insurance?

Leading car insurer Progressive debunks a few of the more widely held myths:

Myth: Red cars cost more to insure.

Reality: Vehicle color is not a factor used to calculate car insurance rates. Factors that do matter are the year, make, model, body type, engine size and age of your car, as well as information about the drivers on your policy.

Myth: I only need the state-required, minimum amount of car insurance.

Reality: Many states have minimum car insurance requirements, but the required liability-only insurance may not cover all your costs. If you cause an accident, your insurance might not cover all the damages. Consult with your local independent agent to select the coverages and sufficient limits that meet your needs so that a fender bender doesn't cost you big bucks.

Myth: Comprehensive coverage protects drivers in all situations.

Reality: Comprehensive coverage is one type of protection available on an auto insurance policy (others being Collision, Uninsured Motorist, etc.). Comprehensive coverage pays only for damage caused by an event other than a collision, including fire, theft, vandalism, weather and more.

Myth: My car insurance rates will be similar to my neighbor's rates.

Reality: Car insurance rates are individually determined, so factors such as age, driving record, type of vehicle, and marital status are considered. Each person's situation is unique and car insurance rates will vary because of this.

Myth: If I buy a new car, my auto insurance company automatically knows and my new car is covered.

Reality: No. Most insurance companies require that you notify them or your agent within a specified number of days. Generally, you have 30 days to add the new vehicle to your policy.

For more information or to find an agent nearby, visit www.progressiveagent.com.

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Easing Upset Tummies

(NAPSI)-Doctors are taking a new look at an old remedy to help travelers, mothers-to-be, cancer patients and others with digestive distress.

According to health care experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center, ginger can help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting.

That's just as well, considering that 53 million Americans suffer from motion sickness and up to 80 percent of women experience nausea during pregnancy.

Ginger is a drug-free option that has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. Now its natural soothing properties are in a fast-acting, great-tasting chewing gum. While you should consult your doctor before trying it, it has none of the side effects associated with anti-nausea medication, such as drowsiness, disorientation and dry mouth, and it's easy to take anywhere.

Ginger Gum is available from Sea-Band in major drugstores such as CVS. Learn more online at www.sea-band.com.

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There's More To Safe Braking Than Just Your Brakes

(NAPSI)-When it comes to the performance of your vehicle's brakes, the margin of "safety" can often be measured in inches--the few inches you've stopped short of another car or that dog or squirrel darting across the road.

What many vehicle owners don't realize, however, is that braking performance relies on much more than just the brake system. Shock absorbers, struts, tires and chassis components also play big roles in helping you avoid accidents.

Safe braking depends on consistent, firm contact between your tires and the road. Worn shocks or struts, in particular, can prevent this secure contact by allowing your vehicle's wheels to "hop" after hitting a pothole, bump or other hazard.

"When the tires aren't in firm contact with the road, your brakes can't do their job," said car care expert Mark Christiaanse, director of product management for Tenneco Inc.'s Monroeฎ brand of ride control components. "That's why every brake job should also include a careful inspection of shocks and struts as well as steering linkage parts like ball joints and tie-rod ends."

The primary job of a shock absorber or strut is to provide resistance to the wheel's natural tendency to bounce away from road impacts. These components also help limit the transfer of vehicle weight from the rear to the front wheels in hard-braking situations. This helps balance the weight over all four wheels for shorter stopping distance and improved stability. Tenneco estimates that shocks and struts provide an average of 21 million of these stabilizing actions every 12,000 miles.

"Shocks and struts are obviously wear-intensive parts and should be inspected and replaced as part of normal vehicle maintenance," Christiaanse said. The independent Motorist Assurance Program now recommends replacing worn shocks and struts every 50,000 miles.

For more information on how shocks and struts can affect vehicle braking distance, visit www.savingsquirrels.com. Download article content


Straight Talk About Care Myths

(NAPSI)-When it comes to caring for your car, knowing the difference between myths and facts may help you save money and keep your car running longer. Here are some examples:

Myth: Using a higher-octane fuel means better performance.

Fact: Usually, only vehicles with high-performance engines require a higher-octane fuel. Using fuel with an octane rating higher than that of the manufacturer's recommendation will not increase your car's performance, lower exhaust emissions or increase your engine/fuel system life.

Myth: A car's motor oil should be changed every 3,000 miles.

Fact: You should follow your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations for oil changes to keep your warranty current. However, once your vehicle is no longer under warranty, a switch to a synthetic oil could extend your oil change intervals. Due to advances in lubrication and filtration technology, many newer cars require a drain interval longer than 3,000 miles.

There are a number of quality synthetic motor oils from which you can choose. For example, Royal Purple motor oils are recommended to extend oil change intervals to 12,000 miles under normal driving conditions, and have also been shown to improve fuel economy.

Myth: A dealership must handle all maintenance to keep a vehicle under warranty.

Fact: The key to maintaining your factory warranty is that car care items specified in the owner's manual are serviced on schedule. As long as the service is documented, it can be performed by any auto-repair shop. You can also do the work yourself; just make sure you keep accurate records and receipts in case warranty issues arise and for future repair.

Myth: Dishwashing detergents are suitable for car washing.

Fact: It is common for people to use dish detergents to wash their car. However, it's best to opt for a product specifically designed for automotive use because dish detergents are designed to remove animal and vegetable fats and will target car wax instead.

Myth: All oil filters are the same.

Fact: Inexpensive filters are typically made with the 3,000-mile interval in mind. Often, they can deteriorate rapidly after 3,000 miles. There are a number of new, high-performance, premium oil filters on the market from manufacturers such as Royal Purple, WIX and K&N. These filters are made for extended oil drain intervals.

For example, Royal Purple uses a proprietary long-life, microglass media that provides protection for 12,000 miles. It also provides an increased level of protection due to the density of the filtration. Royal Purple filters are compatible with all synthetic and conventional oils.

You can learn more at www.royalpurple.com.

 

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Beware The Perils Of Potholes

 
(NAPSI)-As the ravages of winter subside and temperatures rise, there is probably a pothole out there with your name on it, cautions the Car Care Council. Record cold temperatures, snow and rainfall in many parts of the country have created the perfect storm for the motorists' dreaded "perils of potholes period."

Most drivers know immediately when they hit a pothole. The heart-stopping, teeth-jarring noise is hard to mistake. It's not always immediately clear, however, if it hurt the vehicle or how much.

Hitting a pothole can damage tires, wheels, steering and suspension, wheel alignment and more. Motorists who experience any of the following warning signs after hitting a pothole should have a professional technician inspect the vehicle.

Warning Signs

• Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads. These suggest the steering and suspension--key safety-related systems--have been damaged. These largely determine your car's ride and handling. Key components are shocks and struts, the steering knuckle, ball joints, the steering rack or box, bearings, seals and hub units and tie-rod ends.

• Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear. These symptoms mean there's an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is important for the life span of tires and helps ensure safe handling.

• Low tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the rim. These problems will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible as tires are the critical connection between your car and the road in all sorts of driving conditions.

Where To Get Help

If you've hit a pothole, the Car Care Council can help you find a repair shop. The council's Web site features a "Find a Shop" locator at www.carcare.org.

The Car Care Council promotes 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.

 

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Get Set For Travel

(NAPSI)-You may be better able to keep your car on the road to safety and savings if you follow these quick tips.

• Follow your owner's manual service recommendations and schedules.

• Check headlights and signals for proper operation.

• Change the oil and oil filter as specified in the owner's manual. Often neglected, this basic service is essential for long engine life.

• Check the condition and pressure of tires. Let them cool down before checking air pressure. Uneven wear, cupping, vibrations or pulling to one side indicates problems with your tires or suspension system.

• Look for an orderly repair shop with modern equipment in the service bays and ASE-certified repair technicians on duty.

The experts at the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) can give you more car care advice if you visit www.ase.com.

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