Car Car Tips & Other News

Emergency trunk essentials for cold weather driving

Essentials for a roadside emergency

People who live in harsh climates know the importance of a well-stocked emergency kit--a bit of pertinent advice for all drivers planning excursions during winter months.  

“Vehicles have more advanced safety features than ever before, but that doesn’t mean winter driving is any less dangerous,” said Tim DeSpain, a public information officer for Alaska’s Department of Public Safety. “Vehicles have anti-lock brakes, airbags throughout, navigation systems and traction control, but all that doesn’t matter if you’re stranded in the cold.”

Simple steps to protect exterior against harsh weather

Protect paint finish with winter wax job

Waxing isn’t just for muscle cars on display at auto shows. Laying down a protective layer over clean paint helps your vehicle weather the snow, rain and salty roads of winter.

“Winter always has the harshest elements on the paint itself,” said Mike Pennington, a product expert for Meguiar’s, a company specializing in car care products. “A thorough washing and waxing before winter is crucial for the preservation of your vehicle’s exterior. It’s not just a job for summer.”

Five ways to prevent battery problems this winter

Most drivers only think about their vehicle’s battery when it goes dead.

“Fortunately, batteries rarely fail without warning and paying heed to their death throes can help you avoid frustration,” said Jim McIlvaine of OPTIMA Batteries, known around the industry as OPTIMA Jim.

Improve visibility, performance with heated blades

Heated wipers tackle ice and snow

Ever scraped snow and ice off a windshield only to see a new layer coat the glass minutes later? A set of heated wiper blades keeps the frost from reforming and improves visibility.

“If you’ve driven in snowy weather you’ve probably seen some guy with his arm out the window trying to shake ice off his wiper blade while he’s driving,” said John Giummara, marketing director for Thermalblade, a Pennsylvania-based company that produces a patented heated wiper blade.  “You don’t want to ever have to do that.”

Interior Detailing Helps Maintain Vehicle Value

Have you ever admired a car from a distance, only to find a soiled and disheveled interior upon closer inspection?

Basic cleaning is easy to overlook. Yet, regular maintenance makes for a healthy cabin and can improve the value your vehicle.

So says Jim Dvorak of Mothers, a polish and wax company based in Southern California.

Prevent Road Trip Delays with Routine Vehicle Check-Up

Gifts have been loaded into the car, the kids are dressed and you’re ready to drive out of town for holiday dinner with family. A handful of miles into your journey the brake pedal vibrates with every touch.

“Issues that were minor during the summer can become major concerns when winter arrives,” said Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  “Conducting a thorough check up before winter arrives can help you avoid being stranded”

Zero-Emission Leaf Makes Going Green Affordable

2015 Nissan Leaf

The 2015 Nissan Leaf continues the vehicle’s tradition of making it easy to be green. The world’s first affordable zero-emission vehicle is back with a quieter ride and the same zero-emission standards that made it popular when it was introduced in 2010.

Under the Hood

Nissan engineers equipped the 2015 Leaf with a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack made up of 48 compact cell modules of four cells each for a total of 192 cells. The batteries maximize driving range while minimizing charging time and providing 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque.

Programs Aim to Keep Teens Focused on the Road

Training young drivers to avoid distractions may be the best way to protect them when you are not along for the ride, according to safety experts.

“Teens have the highest crash risk of any age group, and research confirms that distraction is often a factor,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. “Eliminating distraction caused by electronic devices and passengers, two of the main culprits for novice drivers, is essential.”

Swapping Tires: When Do Winter Treads Make Sense?

Most vehicles are outfitted with all-season tires designed for mild winter conditions--rain and median temperatures above freezing. What if you live in a cold climate prone to snow or travel frequently on icy mountainous roads?

Consider swapping out your vehicle’s all-season treads for winter tires.

Wet Weather Brings Opportunity to Teach Teen Driving Safety

Help teen drivers by reviewing safey tips for the wet weather

Seasoned drivers bring two of the most important safety elements to vehicles--confidence and experience.

So how do you pass those traits along to young drivers in your family?

“Parents should use the changing weather conditions as an opportunity to go for a ride with their teen, to review and practice skills they’ll need to stay safe on the road,” said Kathy Bernstein, senior manager of teen driving initiatives for the National Safety Council, a non-profit advocacy group.