Keeping Car Clean Protects Vehicle Investment | Be Car Care Aware

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    More car fires happen every year from deferred maintenance than accidents. Keep your family safe; have your car checked today!

    Regular oil changes are your best investment toward the longevity of your engine! Keep your car running longer with preventative maintenance!

    Regular brake inspections are the best way to ensure safe and reliable braking and minimize the cost of repairs when brake service is needed. Safety comes first, have your brakes checked regularly!

    Routine engine performance checks can be your best guarantee of good performance and fuel economy. Economical and dependable, have your engine checked today!

    Signs of an alignment problem include uneven tire wear, shaking and the car pulling to one side. Annual alignment checks are your best way to maximize tire life and ensure that your car performs on the road as it should.

    Proper tire inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3% or ten cents per gallon when maintained regularly. Save money and wear and tear on your tires!

    A loose gas cap can trigger the “Check Engine”or “Service Engine Soon” light. Make sure the cap is secure and tight. Always check!

    Musty smell? It could be a dirty or clogged cabin air filter. Regular checks will protect your HVAC system and allow passengers to breathe easier.

    Washing and polishing is the best way to protect your car’s finish from the damaging effects of acid rain. Your car is a big investment, take care of it!

    Nearly 60% of people claim their driving behavior has changed due to rising gas prices, with 90% saying they drive less and 75% revealing that they are maintaining their vehicles better.

    Regular vehicle maintenance improves fuel efficiency and produces less vehicle emissions. Help the environment and save a little money, have your car checked today!

    Have your car’s brake system inspected annually, even if you don’t suspect any problems! Not all problems are noticeable- don’t risk an accident from faulty brakes!

    Good fuel economy, performance and low emissions are all effects of an efficiently-operating engine. Keep your engine running right!

    If your car requires major engine work, it may be more economical to have your engine rebuilt rather than buying a different car.

    Cooling system failure is a leading cause of vehicle breakdowns. Check coolant level frequently and change it according to your owner’s manual to prevent serious damage or engine failure.

    Your car’s engine can use more than 10,000 gallons of air for every gallon of fuel burned, so it’s easy to see how big a job the air filter has. Does your air filter need to be replaced?

    Inspect your car’s lights at every oil change. Visibility is crucial to staying safe on the road!

    You should test your battery every fall. If your car’s battery is three years old or more, consider replacing it as the chance of failure increases. Does yours need to be replaced?

    For longest automatic transmission life, have the fluid and filter changed every 24,000 36,000 miles. Does yours need to be changed?

    Extreme weather is tough on wiper blades! Check and change wiper blades about every six months to ensure safety and visibility.

    Some fluids levels, like coolant and brake fluid can be seen easily in their reservoirs once the hood is up. Take a look the next time you check your oil!

    Smell something odd? Your car’s smells can indicate health problems. Check with your mechanic or owner’s manual about what they might mean.

    If you perform your own oil changes, dispose of used oil properly! DO NOT pour down a sink or storm drain. Check with your local auto parts store or government for recycling options.

    How your drive plays a role in your fuel consumption. Speeding, aggressive and jerky driving can reduce gas mileage as much as 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets.

    A flashing check engine light indicates a problem that is currently happening and requires immediate attention.

    Keeping your vehicle clean inside and out can pay big dividends when it comes to maintaining its long-term value. The non-profit Car Care Council suggests some simple steps to keep your vehicle clean and protect it from the elements so it retains its resale and trade-in value.

    Declutter – Start the cleaning process by removing excess clutter from inside the car as it can be distracting and hazardous, especially when debris finds its way near the gas and brake pedals. Don’t forget to clear out items that have accumulated in the trunk as they can add extra weight and reduce fuel efficiency.

    Clean the Interior – The next step is to thoroughly clean the interior, wash the windows, and clean and install floor mats. Be sure to vacuum on a regular basis. A clean and orderly interior allows you to spot issues in the cabin so you can get them repaired before they get worse.

    Wash the Exterior – Give the car a good wash from top to bottom using products specifically made for automobiles (not dish detergent). Always clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don’t use the same washing mitt or cloth for both.

    Wax Twice a Year – Waxing not only protects a vehicle’s finish, but it also makes subsequent washing easier. Before proceeding, make sure there are no foreign particles on the paint. It is important to note that waxing should be done in the shade, not direct sunlight.

    Fix Chips – If there is minor paint damage, cover the paint chips as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. For a quick fix until you can get paint touchup supplies, dab a little clear nail polish on the scratch.

    “A clean car is money in the bank,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Since many vehicles are sitting idle for long periods these days, it is important to remove the grime and sediment that can build up on the outside of the car to help prevent rust. It’s also a good idea to wipe the dashboard, steering wheel, cup holders, door handles, vents and console with a quality, all-purpose automotive cleaner to disinfect the interior areas of the vehicle.”

    The non-profit 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 the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at http://media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.