Car Car Tips & Other News

Annual campaign promotes car seat safety for the littlest passengers

Be sure to read warning labels on child seats

Child passenger safety takes center stage in September with National Child Safety Week, an annual reminder for parents on ways to help prevent injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency sponsoring the event, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.

Are your tires ready for the rainy weather?

The season's first rain creates slippery driving conditions. Oil accumulated from the dry summer months mixed with fresh rain produces a slick surface challenging to any driver.

Are your tires up to the challenge of keeping your car handling safely? Should old tires be replaced?

Not necessarily, according to Dan Zielinski of the Rubber Manufacturer's Association. The problems are wear and damage not age. Fall is the perfect time to inspect your vehicle's tires before the changing road conditions.

End of summer maintenance helps prevent fall mishaps

Those summer day trips, vacations and weekend events take a toll on your vehicle, and maintenance issues may go unnoticed until the first cool days of autumn.

“The biggest problems come from people putting off routine maintenance,” said Tony Molla of ASE, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, a nonprofit certification agency for auto technicians. “Just like routinely go to dentist, your vehicle needs preventative care, too.”

Family hiking: Letting dog be your guide

One North Carolina native believes she has found a way to unlock the beauty and wonders of nature to America’s internet-crazed youth.

For Ellen Eastwood the answer lies in four paws and a discriminating nose. Her new guidebook, “The Trail Hound’s Handbook, Your Family Guide To Hiking With Dogs,” teaches kids how to have fun in the wilderness with man’s best friend.

Unique fire truck provides life-saving support for firefighters

One of the most useful vehicles owned by fire departments nationwide doesn’t pump a gallon of water. Instead, the truck provides clean, breathable air to firefighters, an important commodity to someone charging into a searing building billowing with smoke.

“Firefighting is inherently dangerous and having a reliable supply of clean air allows us to perform in extremely hostile conditions,” said Capt. Ken Kuykendall of the Folsom Fire Department in California’s Central Valley.

Get that new car shine with simple cleaning tips

Brushes wisk away dirt without scratching the surface

A towel and elbow grease aren't always the best choices for shining your vehicle.

Sometimes a brush is the right answer.   

“Brushes are great when you need to gently agitate while letting particulates get washed away,” said Jim Dvorak of Mothers, a polish company based in Southern California. “Especially with muddy areas, a towel would rub the particulates into the finish and potentially scratch it.”

Dash cams become popular as drivers see safety benefits

Dash cams become eye witness to driving incidents

Cameras similar to those worn by thrillseekers are finding their way to the dashboards safety-conscious drivers.

“Dash cameras are helpful in hit-and-run collisions – where you’d want to get someone’s license plate,” said Johan-Till Broer of Garman, a Kansas-based electronics company that started making dash cameras this year.

Don't let minor dents, scrapes ruin the value of your car

A relaxing summer day can turn sour in a hurry when you return to your vehicle and notice some new imperfections on its shiny exterior.

“Dents and dings are particularly annoying because they show up like spots on a mirror, especially on dark colored surfaces,” said Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the National Auto Body Council. “They also can diminish the value of your vehicle.”

Why keeping cool may cost you at the pump

A renowned federal agency has proven it costs more to be cool.

According to a recent report from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the testing arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, cranking up your vehicle’s air conditioning system increases gas consumption.

Pet-friendly safety solutions for your furry passengers

Dogs adore car rides, and drivers cherish taking them. But sharp turns, sudden stops or collisions can cause severe injury or death to unrestrained animals—and put human passengers at risk of injury as well.

Lindsey Wolko, founder of the nonprofit Center for Pet Safety, has spent the last decade raising awareness about animal restraints for pet owners. Yet, she cautions there is no uniform safety standard for the industry.