Car Car Tips & Other News

ABCs of ABS: Things Drivers Should Know

ABS replaces the need to pump the brake pedal

Ask a driver how their ABS is and chances are you’ll get a blank stare.

Anti-lock brake systems are credited as one of the most advanced safety technologies in modern vehicles yet they are an enigma to many.

How do you know if your ABS is functioning properly? It’s part performance and part education.

5 Reasons to Check Your Tires This Month

Traction improves with proper inflation

Tires don’t get much attention until something goes wrong--like sliding through an intersection during a heavy February storm.

Yet, a few moments of attention can help prevent disaster. After all, tires are one of your vehicle's most important safety components.

How to Keep Your Ride Looking Sharp in Winter

Harsh road grime can damage exterior surfaces

A little time and effort now means far less work making the car look sharp when the days get longer this spring.

So says Mike Deddo, senior research chemist for Turtle Wax.

Save Vehicle Carpets from Patter of Tiny Feet

There’s really no way around filth sneaking into your vehicle during winter. A sturdy set of floor mats protects the interior and reduces musty odors associated with caked mud or damp interior.  

“A durable, custom-fitted floor mat puts nature firmly in its place,” said Tara Duncan, director of marketing for Husky Liners, a Kansas-based company designing and developing heavy-duty floor mats.

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”