What Does It Mean to Be Car Care Aware?
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Car care can be intimidating when you aren’t familiar with your car’s parts and systems, but when you know the right questions to ask, it puts you in the driver’s seat. Be Car Care Aware has developed the resources needed to empower you when it comes to maintenance decisions, along with top care tips. So, how can you Be Car Care Aware?
Top Five Car Care Tips:
1. Check your exterior lighting regularly to make sure you can see and be seen, and keep your headlamps clean.
2. Check your tire pressure once a month. Match the tire pressure against the number on the sticker inside the driver’s door. Use a digital tire pressure gauge for accuracy.
3. Check your antifreeze levels and make sure that you have the right concentration – overheating will leave you stuck on the side of the road.
4. Regularly top-up your windshield washer fluid and keep an extra container in your trunk in case you run out, so you can keep your windshield clean and clear.
5. Always carry an emergency kit with these important items:
Tire inflation product: Flat tires are never convenient
Flashlight with extra batteries: Alkaline batteries last longer than heavy duty ones.
Jumper cables (don’t buy the cheap ones): Your best choice is to buy jumper cables and a power source that will permit you to jump start your battery without another vehicle. Regular jumper cables require 2 cars, but if you have your own power source, you’ll be able to quickly connect cables to their corresponding battery posts, and then just start your car. This is a safer choice than asking a stranger to help jump start your vehicle.
Tire inflation product: This is a tire inflator and sealant, and it is a simple solution to a flat tire that seals and inflates in minutes. Yes, this little gadget really will fix your flat tire, even on van, pick-up, and SUV tires. If you drive an SUV, truck, or van, get the largest can or carry two cans. Larger tires require more product to seal and inflate the tire temporarily. No need to jack up the vehicle – just attach the hose to the valve stem, press the nozzle, and – whizzzz – it seals and re-inflates your tire. Anyone can do this temporary repair in less than 15 minutes, which is less time than it usually takes for a tow truck to arrive. Make sure to find a product that isn’t flammable and can be rinsed out of the tire.
First aid kit: Not a bag of bandages – get a real first aid kit. These can be purchased at mass merchandisers or you can build your own.
Safety triangle or LED light flare: An emergency flashing triangle placed behind your car will allow other motorists to see you from up to half a mile away and alert them that you need help. A LED light source is a much safer and reusable choice than regular flares and can stick to the car or be placed on the road.
Protein snacks or bars: In case you are stuck and waiting for help. Candy bars don’t qualify as protein, and they can give you a carbohydrate rush and carbohydrate crash, which can put you to sleep when you need to stay awake. Consider nuts, raisins, protein bars, dried fruit, or beef jerky. Try to find snacks that don’t contain a lot of sugar.
Bottled water: The water could be for you or your radiator. Get a large bottle and put it in a sealed bag in case it leaks.
Blankets: One for every passenger who usually rides in the car. No matter where you live, you may need a blanket to keep you warm. It also can cover the ground if you have to crawl under your car.
Cell phone and a car charger:
Most of us have cell phones these days, and it’s important to have a car charger in case of an emergency. If you don’t usually carry a cell phone, it’s a good idea to have one for the car – inexpensive emergency plans are available. Your cell phone can also act as a beacon to help emergency personnel locate you.
Get a FREE Car Care Guide from the Car Care Council in English or Spanish at www.carcare.org. Want to know more? Sign up for my newsletter today: laurenfix.com and follow me on Twitter: @laurenfix