Car Care Tips

Want to find out more information about your vehicle? The following are some of the latest articles in car maintenance, safety, and current events.

September is National Preparedness Month: Make Sure Your Car is Ready if Disaster Hits

Would your car be ready if you had to leave at a moment’s notice? If you were stranded in your car, would you be prepared? During National Preparedness Month in September, the non-profit Car Care Council is reminding drivers of the importance of regular maintenance and do-it-yourself checks, as well as a stocked emergency kit. READ MORE »

Car Care Council Updates Free Car Care Guide for Motorists, 80-Page Guide Now in Color

The non-profit Car Care Council has totally redesigned its popular Car Care Guide, adding 20 additional pages of new information to help motorists be car care aware by better understanding the when, why and how of caring for their vehicles. Available in English and Spanish, individual copies of the new Car Care Guide can be READ MORE »

Seven Signs Your Brakes Need to be Inspected

During Brake Safety Awareness Month in August, the Car Care Council reminds motorists that routine brake inspections are essential to safe driving and maintaining your vehicle. “When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list, so have your brakes checked by an auto service professional at least once READ MORE »

Keep Calm and Drive On

If the summer heat drives you to distraction, the last thing you need is a malfunctioning air conditioning (A/C) system when you’re on the road. Checking your vehicle’s A/C annually will help you keep your cool when temperatures soar, says the Car Care Council. “Getting stuck in traffic is stressful enough, but getting stuck in READ MORE »

Feeling the Summer Heat? Your Car Battery is Too

If the heat of summer is wearing you down, it is likely taking its toll on your car battery too. Contrary to popular belief, summer highs rather than winter lows pose the greater threat to battery life, according to the non-profit Car Care Council. Sooner or later all batteries have to be replaced. Excessive heat READ MORE »

Dream Vacation or Nightmare Road Trip? Pre-Trip Vehicle Check Can Make the Difference

Road trip car trouble can be a real nightmare, but performing a pre-trip vehicle check helps drivers avoid a vacation breakdown disaster, says the Car Care Council. “When dreaming about summer vacation, the thought of a roadside breakdown can be terrifying,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Performing a pre-trip driveway inspection gives READ MORE »

Four Symptoms of a Sick Cooling System

With the hot summer temperatures on the rise, knowing the symptoms of a sick cooling system are critical to your summer driving plans, since cooling system failure is a leading cause of vehicle breakdowns. The most noticeable symptoms are overheating, leaks, a sweet smell of antifreeze and repeatedly needing to add coolant, according to the READ MORE »

Do Your “PART” during Tire Safety Week

Maintaining your vehicle’s tires is not only essential to getting better gas mileage, but it is also crucial to ensuring safety on the road. To maximize tire life, the Car Care Council recommends checking tire condition and pressure regularly, and there is no better time to start than National Tire Safety Week. “It takes only READ MORE »

Rising Gas Prices Don’t Have to Cost You

6 Simple Car Care Tips to Increase Gas Mileage Spring is here and so are rising gas prices. Not to worry, says the Car Care Council. A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance steps can stretch your dollar at the pump and go a long way toward protecting the environment. “Many motorists don’t realize that READ MORE »

A Resolution You Should Keep: Be Car Care Aware

Why not resolve to be car care aware in the coming year? By spending a little time now on preventive maintenance, drivers can save a lot of headaches in the long run and make for a great year on the road, says the non-profit Car Care Council.  “Regular auto care shouldn’t be one of those READ MORE »

9 Steps For a Winter Ready Car

The last thing any driver needs is to break down in cold, harsh winter weather. A vehicle check now before winter arrives is a sensible way to be car care aware and avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold and with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs, says the Car Care Council.  READ MORE »

New Infographic: 6 Vehicle Warning Smells

The new inforgraphic from the Car Care Council outlines six car smells that could mean trouble for your vehicle. The infographic is based off a recent press release titled “Six Vehicle Warning Signs Your Nose Can Recognize” and a non-technical approach to understanding when something may be wrong with your car. Remember, once you know READ MORE »

4 Tips for Safe Halloween Driving

Halloween is one of the most anticipated times of the year for young children. To help keep trick-or-treaters as safe as possible, the Car Care Council reminds motorists to drive slowly, especially through neighborhoods, to be extra careful when entering or exiting driveways or alleyways, and to be car care aware by making sure their READ MORE »

Time to Change Your Vehicle’s Cabin Air Filter

Before winter sets in is a good time to check your cabin air filter, after it’s been working hard all spring, summer and fall. Cabin air filters clean the incoming air and remove allergens, and according to the Car Care Council, should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual. The READ MORE »

Five Tips for Fall Car Care Month

October is Fall Car Care Month. Why not take a little time to be car care aware and make sure your vehicle is ready for the harsh winter weather ahead? Taking a few simple steps now can save you the headaches and cost of an emergency breakdown later, says the Car Care Council.  Whether you READ MORE »

9 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather

Winterizing your vehicle is a wise idea, says the Car Care Council.  An investment of an hour or two to have your vehicle checked is all it takes to have peace of mind and help avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown during severe weather. “The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle READ MORE »

Six Vehicle Warning Signs Your Nose Can Recognize

Most vehicles start out with a “new car smell,” but there are other specific odors that motorists should never ignore. Identifying these suspect smells early on can help car owners be car care aware and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown, says the Car Care Council. “Unusual smells can be the sign READ MORE »

The ABCs of Car Care for New Drivers

It’s never too early to learn the ABCs of car care, says the Car Care Council. A – Always follow a preventative vehicle maintenance plan. B – Be sure to have your car inspected when you suspect there is a problem. C – Correct the problem to help avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards READ MORE »

Car Care Council Tips Help Save Money as Gas Prices Near $4

Consumers’ pain at the pump is back with gas prices rising for 33 consecutive days according to the Washington Post and the average price of gas moving closer to $4 per gallon. No need to worry, says the Car Care Council. A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance tips can help alleviate the pain. “You READ MORE »

Auto Repair: Wondering About Your Warranty?

It’s a common misconception that only car dealers can perform the routine maintenance and repairs on a newer vehicle that is under warranty. In fact, it is law that consumers can patronize their neighborhood repair shop or do the work themselves without violating the manufacturer’s warranty, says the Car Care Council. Consumers are protected by READ MORE »

13 Car Care Resolutions for 2013

It’s that time of year where New Year’s resolutions are in full gear. You have promised yourself to make it to the gym more often, try harder to get that new job, or take more time out to do the things that you enjoy.  “All your resolutions have one common denominator — you must drive READ MORE »

Extreme Summer Heat Can Burn Up Car Batteries

Summer’s extreme temperatures can destroy a vehicle’s battery. The Car Care Council advises vehicle owners to have their cars’ batteries tested periodically and replaced, if necessary, to avoid being stranded. Excessive heat and overcharging shortens the life of a battery. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. READ MORE »

Begin Your Summer Road Trip at www.carcare.org

This summer, many motorists will pack their cars and head out on a driving trip. But before even pulling out of the driveway, the Car Care Council recommends that motorists start their journey at its website, www.carcare.org.     “The Car Care Council’s website contains a wealth of car care information to help motorists address READ MORE »

Keep Your Cool in Hot Summer Cars

When it’s hot outside, one of the last places you want to be is sitting in traffic without a properly functioning air conditioning (A/C) system. To help avoid this uncomfortable situation, the Car Care Council recommends having your A/C system checked annually to make sure it is functioning at its peak performance level when the READ MORE »

Is Your Car Road-Ready?

Before you pack your car and hit the road for your driving trip, the Car Care Council recommends conducting a pre-vehicle inspection to help avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles away from home.   “A pre-trip vehicle check can determine how road-ready your vehicle is so you can take steps to READ MORE »

Preserve Vehicle Value Beyond Your Wildest Clean

Keeping your car clean will significantly help preserve its overall value, according to the Car Care Council. “Simply cleaning your vehicle not only fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment, but it also protects your valuable vehicle investment,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It’s a task that takes very little money or READ MORE »

Mean, Green Driving Machine

The Car Care Council suggests five easy ways to turn your car into a mean, green driving machine – for your wallet and the environment. Drive Green – Recognize that how you drive has a lot to do with fuel economy. Avoid sudden starts and stops and go the speed limit. Jerky and aggressive driving READ MORE »

Car Care: The Key to a Long-Lasting Vehicle

National Car Care Month in April is the time of year to give your car some extra attention. Basic car care is the key to a long-lasting vehicle, improving its safety and dependability, says the Car Care Council. “Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line in the form of more READ MORE »

Car Care Events Reveal Increased Need for Maintenance

Results of vehicle inspections held at community car care events across the country during Car Care Months in April and October 2011 reveal that 84 percent of vehicles need service or parts, the highest percentage in five years, according to the Car Care Council. The unsatisfactory condition of vehicles reflects the current economic climate and READ MORE »

Consumers Can Avoid Problems by Watching for Warning Signs

When it comes to your car’s safety, brakes top the list of systems that need monitoring. However, many people are unaware of the signs that indicate a car’s brakes may need maintenance or repair. When it comes to your car’s safety, brakes top the list of systems that need monitoring. However, many people are unaware READ MORE »

Spring Showers Bring Driving Safety Hazards

Worn out tires and windshield wiper blades are symptoms of neglected vehicle maintenance that put drivers and passengers at serious risk during the typically rainy months of spring. Worn out tires and windshield wiper blades are symptoms of neglected vehicle maintenance that put drivers and passengers at serious risk during the typically rainy months of READ MORE »

Hot Weather the True Culprit Behind Car-Battery Trouble

Summer is the season for major car-battery problems. Heat, not cold, shortens battery life, says the Car Care Council. Summer is the season for major car-battery problems. Heat, not cold, shortens battery life, says the Car Care Council. Excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid READ MORE »

Cold Facts About A/C Refrigerant

How did we ever get along without air conditioning in our cars? It’s a feature we take for granted until, suddenly, it’s blowing hot air. In the past few years, many owners have discovered that fixing an inoperative air conditioner can cost a few hundred dollars or more, depending upon the make and model of READ MORE »

The Road to a Long-Lasting Automobile

Auto technicians say the key to keeping vehicles running well-today and down the road-is routine maintenance. Auto technicians say the key to keeping vehicles running well-today and down the road-is routine maintenance. Yet many drivers tend to stall when it comes to keeping up with some everyday auto-basics. A recent survey by the Car Care READ MORE »

Drive Smart and Save Gas Money — Driving Behavior, Vehicle Care Directly Impact Fuel Efficiency

With no end in sight to rising gas prices, consumers who modify their driving habits and properly maintain their vehicles will get more miles per gallon. The Car Care Council recommends the following ways to drive smart and save gas money: Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph. Avoid excessive idling. READ MORE »

Simple Steps to Save Gas Without Driving Less

Driving less doesn’t have to be a consumer’s reaction to rising gas prices, according to the Car Care Council. While consumers can’t control the price of gas, they can control how much gas they use by following some simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance. “Most motorists don’t have the option of driving less when gas prices READ MORE »

The Weather Outside is Frightful; Take the Scare Out of Winter Driving

When the weather outside is frightful, a little advance preparation will take the scare out of winter driving, says the Car Care Council. A few preventive vehicle maintenance steps will keep you from being stranded in severe winter weather. “The thought of a breakdown, an engine not starting or otherwise being stranded is scary as READ MORE »

Engine Repowering Keeps New Car Costs at Bay

Buying a new car might sound great in theory but in these uncertain economic times, it might not be the right investment. Other options, such as repowering your current engine, may be a much better economic decision to keep new car costs at bay.   “Smart shoppers and smart motorists make better decisions when they READ MORE »

A Bright Idea: Check Your Vehicle’s Lights and Wipers

As the days get shorter, it’s a bright idea to make sure your vehicle’s lights and wipers are working properly so you can be seen by others and your visibility is not compromised, advises the Car Care Council. “Lights and wipers play a critical role in safe driving, as the chance of an accident increases READ MORE »

A Battery Check Today Can Keep the Tow Truck Away

A battery check today can keep the tow truck away, says the Car Care Council, as it advises vehicle owners to have their battery tested and replaced if necessary this fall to avoid being stranded this winter. Sooner or later all batteries have to be replaced, and excessive heat and overcharging are the two main READ MORE »

Winter Driving Tips: How to Drive in the Snow

In a perfect world, all roads would be dry and untrafficked. But in the real world, drivers face a wide variety of weather conditions, and when snow is added to the mix, the potential for automotive disaster can increase exponentially. Whether you venture to the ski slopes once in a blue moon or spend six READ MORE »

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

When temperatures start to drop, it’s time to get your car ready for winter. The right maintenance, preparation and tools can be literal lifesavers in harsh conditions. Regular Maintenance Now’s the time to get your car up to speed on all of its regular maintenance. That means taking care of any fluids that may have READ MORE »

Four Ways to Prepare for a Thanksgiving Road Trip

The weather’s cooling and bears are heading for their comfy hibernation caves. But not us; we’re gearing up for the busiest travel days of the year: Thanksgiving weekend. And that means it’s time to get your car ready for colder weather and more miles on the odometer.Whether you’re headed south for the sun or through READ MORE »

New DriverSide Study Finds American Owners Are Too Lax With Vehicle Maintenance

When fuel prices soared into the stratosphere last summer, Americans learned the importance of fuel economy the hard way. This experience opened the eyes of the American public, with many consumers downsizing into smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles, and the recent Cash for Clunkers legislation has had a significant impact on sales as well. Click READ MORE »

What to Do in the Event of an Accident

Accidents are always stressful events, no matter how serious the results. With adrenaline pumping through you, it can be difficult to process what exactly happened during the accident and what to do when the dust has settled. As such, it is extremely important to know how to handle the situation before it occurs. Immediate Actions READ MORE »

Essential Items to Keep in Your Car

When we think of car safety, airbags and seatbelts spring to mind – and rightly so. However, we often overlook the smaller items that can go a long way to keeping things under control in an emergency situation. It doesn’t take much money to stock your car, and having these tools at hand wherever you are can protect READ MORE »

Safest Cars on the Road: The Truth Behind Five-Star Ratings

Discover the truth behind five-star ratings and the safest cars on the road that will keep you and your family safe. While options, good looks and the right price are all very important factors in choosing a new car, safety is paramount for many buyers. Turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper, or check the banner READ MORE »

Kids And Car Safety

Car safety is more important than ever. Find out what is being done to make your car safer for you and your children at DriverSide.com. It was a horrific story that thankfully ended well. It reaches back to 1995 when Janette Fannell, her husband and infant son, returning home on an October night, were kidnapped, READ MORE »

How To Save Money On Fixing Car Leather

Car seats can easily fall prey to wear and tear. Here’s how to fix rips and cracks in leather without taking your vehicle to the shop. It’s amazing how quickly leather can go from looking luxurious and expensive to looking ratty. After a couple years’ worth of seat time, the leather in your car can READ MORE »

How To Save Money On Touching Up Exterior Defects

From dents to paint scratches, a car’s exterior can get grungy fast. Here’s how to repair those imperfections without spending too much. Over the course of a car’s life, exterior imperfections like dents and dings occur no matter how careful you are. Everything from the weather to an overly enthusiastic Little Leaguer can inflict expensive READ MORE »

How to Save Money on Fuel

Getting into the habit of saving on fuel now will mean you’ll be ready when prices start hitting the $4.00-gallon mark once again. You don’t have to buy a new, fuel-efficient car, either. No one wants to trade a fuel bill for a car payment, so take a look at our top 5 ways to save on READ MORE »

How to Save Money on Brakes

It’s no secret your vehicle’s brakes are an essential safety system. With complex hydraulic mechanisms and plenty of parts that need replacing on a regular basis, it’s always tempting to put off your brake service as long as possible to save a few pennies. The truth is, failing to keep up with routine maintenance is READ MORE »

What to Do When Your Engine Overheats

Things can get out of control quickly if you don’t know what to do when your vehicle’s temperature rises. Many modern automobiles are so refined that you can hardly hear their engines anymore, but don’t be lulled into complacency—there’s still a combustion cycle taking place under the hood, and catastrophic overheating remains a remote possibility. READ MORE »

How to Choose the Right Tires for Your Vehicle

Having the right rubber hoops wrapped around your car’s wheels is more important than you think. Tires are a vital component of car safety, and their importance is often overlooked. “Tires are the only four things touching the ground on your vehicle, and they impact everything – whether it’s braking, turning, accelerating or wet driving,” READ MORE »

9 Ways to Ruin Your Paint Without Knowing It

Keeping your car looking good isn’t just a matter of enhancing its resale value, although that’s important too, it’s also your car’s only line of defense between the sheet metal and the elements. You already know parking lot dings, gravel roads or an angry ex can ruin your car’s paint in the blink of an READ MORE »

The Penny Test: A Quick Way to Check Tire Wear

The replacement of old tires is a common maintenance item, one that also happens to be vital to your safety on the road. Knowing when they’re ready to be switched out isn’t difficult, but it does require a bit of knowledge about tire tread wear and one simple trick. Since tires are your only direct READ MORE »

How to Protect Your Car’s Interior

Try to add up the hours you spend in your car. It’s a lot, isn’t it? Commutes, errand runs and road trips can have you sitting in those bucket seats for hours on end, and during that time, you and your passengers are actually living in the interior. That means smudges on the windows, scratches READ MORE »

Brake Bleeding

The brakes are the most important safety system on your vehicle, and the entire system relies on the hydraulic power of brake fluid to function properly. Modern vehicles use hydraulically actuated brakes, which work by using fluid to transfer brake pedal pressure from the master cylinder down through the lines and eventually on to each READ MORE »

How To Reduce Your Vehicle Maintenance Costs

If you want to avoid nasty and unexpected surprise maintenance costs, sticking to a regimented schedule of preventative maintenance is something you are going to want to get used to. The reason being is simple – frequent maintenance will keep your car in good health, ensuring you get the most out of all those expensive-to-replace parts. While READ MORE »

What Your Vehicle’s Towing Capacity Means

Know the facts before you tow with your vehicle. Unless you use your vehicle to tow everyday for work, odds are you haven’t paid much attention to your truck, SUV or crossover’s towing capacity. Maybe you’re looking to buy a boat for some summer fun or just need to rent a trailer to get your READ MORE »

How to Tow Your Car

Learn what you need to know about towing a car and how to tow your car safely. At some point in your life, odds are you may need to tow a car. Whether you’re moving to a new state or simply looking to pull something smaller behind the motor home, moving two vehicles with one READ MORE »

Our New Year’s Ownership Resolutions

While it might seem overly cliché, the end of the holiday season always brings with it resolutions for the coming year. For many of us, 2009 presents a unique challenge as the world continues to fight a stubborn financial recession. Budgets are tight and, as a result, you’ll probably be holding onto your current car READ MORE »

Get Your Car Ready For A Road Trip

Whether you are going for a day trip or taking a week long vacation, DriverSide is here to help make your road trip memorable and fun. The weather’s warming and the birds are chirping. Make no mistake about it, it’s time to get your car ready for the first road trip of the season. Whether READ MORE »

How To Extend The Life Of Your Car

DriverSide provides not just information on buying and selling cars, but helps you live with your car every day. In today’s economy, we’re constantly asked how people can keep their current cars on the road for longer periods of time. While it is expensive to buy a new car every few years, it is also READ MORE »

The VIN Number

Find out what a VIN Number is, how it works and its history from DriverSide and the Car Care Council. What Is A VIN? Most vehicle owners have had to reference their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at some point or another. Whether for the purpose of reporting insurance, registering a new car, requesting a vehicle READ MORE »

Types of Gas

What are the differences between the gas grades you put in your car? With gas prices reaching for the clouds, you may be tempted to go for the lower grade when it’s time to top off the tank. For most of the motoring world, that’s not a problem, but what about the rest of the cars out READ MORE »

What Motor Oil Is Best for Your Car?

Learn how to pick the right motor oil for your vehicle. As the lubricant for the moving parts of your engine, oil is extremely important; it prevents excessive engine wear and tear and is vital for the continued functioning of your vehicle. And it’s all wrapped up in a one quart plastic bottle. If you’ve READ MORE »

What Does The Check Engine Light Mean?

That little light can mean a lot of things. How do you know if it’s a serious problem or just a small issue? One day, this might happen to you, you glance down at your vehicle’s dashboard only to see the check engine light turned on. You burst into a cold sweat wondering just how READ MORE »

How Often Do You Need To Change Your Oil?

Estimates vary as to when you need to change the motor oil in your car. Which numbers are right? Oil change time intervals rely on a number of mitigating factors that determine when one should get their vehicle’s oil changed. It seems like every person you ask has a different answer for how often engine READ MORE »

When Should You Rotate Your Tires?

How to know when to switch your car tires around. Ever looked at the bottom of your shoes and noticed that one area of the sole is more worn than another? The way you walk causes a wear pattern to occur as you put more weight on certain areas of your feet. The same thing READ MORE »

Car Brakes: How Do You Know When to Change Them?

Vehicle brakes are vital to your safety when driving. What signs indicate that they’re wearing out? For those who suffer a daily commute through heavy traffic, your vehicle’s braking system can bring thousands of pounds of metal, plastic and empty Starbucks cups to a stop hundreds of times before you get to work. It goes READ MORE »

Car Maintenance: What to Expect at Each Service Interval

Let’s face the facts, no one likes car maintenance. Not only can proper services be expensive, but keeping track of what needs to be done at certain intervals can be a major headache. The last thing a car owner wants is to pay for a service that wasn’t needed in the first place. Unfortunately ignoring READ MORE »