Vehicle maintenance steps

“The thought of a breakdown, an engine not starting or otherwise being stranded is scary as it is, but those things happening in freezing winter weather adds another level of fear,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “An investment of an hour or so to have your vehicle checked will pay off and help make sure your winter driving is less frightful and more delightful.”

The Car Care Council recommends the following steps for winterizing your vehicle:

  • Check the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
  • Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
  • Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. Typically, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
  • If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
  • Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider

Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Driving

Motorists traveling on Memorial Day weekend can’t do much about the high price of gas, but they can pay less at the pump by making sure their vehicles get maximum fuel economy. According to the Car Care Council, fuel economy is directly related to vehicle care and driver behavior and both can have a significant impact on how much motorists pay at the pump.

Under-inflated tires can impact the vehicle’s fuel economy. When tires aren’t inflated properly, it’s similar to driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.

Dirty air filters can also waste gas and cause the engine to lose power. An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture, which is too much gas being burned for the amount of air. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.

Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause misfiring, which wastes fuel. Vehicles can have four, six or eight spark plugs that fire as many as three million times every 1,000 miles,

Automotive air filters were simple to find

A quick wipe of the debris out of the bottom of the housing, and you could drop in the new filter, replace the lid and wing nut, and be on your way.

But now, with the trend toward smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient cars, the engine compartment has become smaller therefore reducing the manufactures options to place the air intake as well as the air filter which allows for clean, fresh, cool air to enter the engine for optimal performance.

According to Kevin O’Dowd, Director of Marketing & Communications at MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters NA LLC, the result is that you’ll find some very creative sizes, shapes, and locations of engine air filters in today’s cars. This means that air filters are not where you are used to finding them. The good news is, once you know where they’re located, they’re almost always very simple to replace.

Where Do You Look?
In general, expect to find your air filter located somewhere in the (usually black plastic) duct work that runs from the grille area to the top area of the engine. Your clue is usually a series of 4-6

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 of breaking down away from home.

“Most young people can’t wait to drive, but their car care education should begin well before their parents hand over the keys,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Understanding the basics of car care before taking the wheel will help keep new drivers safer on the road.”

The Car Care Council recommends that new drivers keep a free copy of its popular Car Care Guide in the glove box and learn about 10 car care inspection procedures that are an important part of any preventative vehicle maintenance plan:

  1. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  2. Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
  3. Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  4. Check the

Six key systems before the temperatures start to drop

The Car Care Council strongly recommends that all vehicle owners check six key systems before the temperatures start to drop.

  • Battery -Keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Cold weather is hard on batteries – your local mechanic can check the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail completely so it’s wise to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
  • Antifreeze – Antifreeze (coolant) should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles. As a reminder, do not add 100 percent antifreeze as full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed with water.
  • Brakes – Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item and is key while driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
  • Tires – Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires will lose pressure when temperatures drop.
  • Oil – Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to low-viscosity oil in winter,

Driving a vehicle with cabin air filters

Cabin air filters capture potentially harmful particulates so they are not recycled into the passenger compartment and compromise the driving comfort of the people in the vehicle.

Normally, motorists roll down their windows to get ‘fresh’ air. Instead, you may want to roll up the windows to prevent the environmental pollutants from entering your vehicle because, whether you turn on the air conditioning or open the fresh air vent, the cabin air filter will provide clean, fresh air while filtering out the environmental pollutants.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (www.aafa.org) 60 million Americans (one in every five) suffer from asthma and seasonal allergies and the numbers are increasing. To highlight the problem and related issues with children and adults, May has been declared National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.

“For people who suffer from a respiratory-related illnesses or those who are passionate about breathing clean air, cabin air filters are an extremely useful feature on vehicles,” said Kevin O’Dowd, Director of Marketing & Communications at MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters NA LLC.

Inventor of the first automotive oil filter in 1923, Purolator offers premium quality BreatheEASY® cabin air filters for most domestic and imported vehicles. Purolator’s BreatheEASY cabin air filters feature a non-woven, engineered media that traps even the

Take Better Care of Your Car

Most people make new year’s resolutions. Resolving to lose weight and exercise can be tough ones to keep, but resolving to take better care of your car has never been easier with the free online custom service schedule from the non-profit Car Care Council.

“Signing up for our free customized service schedule and e-mail reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle throughout the year,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions about preventative vehicle maintenance.”

The Car Care Council’s personalized online schedule and e-mail reminder service, powered by DriverSide.com, is free of charge and can be customized by motorists to help make vehicle ownership more enjoyable, economical and convenient.

“Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, following a preventative maintenance schedule will help keep your vehicle safe, dependable and on the road longer,” said White.

To help consumers become more comfortable with the auto service and repair process, the Car Care Council produced a video entitled “Auto Service and Repair: What to Expect,” which provides a wealth of information on such topics as finding the

Automotive Master Technician

Every sensor on or in a computer-controlled car or truck talks to the “on-board PC” in a kind of language you’ve never heard or seen. All of the inputs are in a voltage-speak and are all numbers. All of these signals to and from the PC travel in and out at up to 300 times per second. That is some party line!

Your PC knows the amount of air going into or being inhaled by the engine. It knows the temperature of the air, the barometric pressure, the outside temperature, if it’s raining and if the engine is pinging. It knows if the engine has too much fuel or too little fuel being delivered to it. It knows the temperature of the coolant and the catalytic converter, and it knows how cold it is inside the car and how that compares to the temperature you are requesting.

Most of the voltages start at zero and have a high end of 5, 8 or 12 volts. For instance, 1.0v means low and 5.0v means high. Or 1.0 means cold and 5.0 means hot, hot, hot.

But most scanners convert these numbers to a range we can understand, like 20 grams or 212F or 45% throttle.

The mass

Car may not be cooling fast enough

If your car’s A/C system is not cooling you off in a reasonable time frame to make you happy, take it to your service professional for an A/C check-up. Here’s what he or she will look at: • Is the compressor weak? It may build up pressure slowly, or require high rpm to produce normal pressures, so it takes a while to produce adequate cooling. A pressure test should indicate this problem. • Outside air flap not closing. When the system is in Max A/C, the flap should be closed. Unless the flap is closed, hot outside air dilutes the effect of A/C, producing slow cool down. • Is the temperature (blend-air) door operating correctly? This doesn’t have to be an either-it-is-or-it-isn’t proposition.

 

If the temperature door isn’t in the Max Cool position, the heater core may contribute enough heat to slow down the cooling. Eventually, particularly when the system is set in Max A/C, the A/C may overcome a small heating effect. Even if there is a heater coolant control valve and it’s fully closed, a temperature door even just partly in the wrong position can slow down the cooling by redirecting some of the airflow through the heater. •

Tips Help Save Money of Car Care Council

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 can’t control the price of gas, but you can control how much gas you burn by performing proper maintenance and how you drive. Performing simple and inexpensive maintenance can save as much as $1,200 per year in gas costs,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council offers these gas-saving maintenance tips:

  • Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.
  • Replace dirty or clogged air filters and improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
  • Improve gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil.

Driving behavior also impacts fuel efficiency. The council offers these gas saving driving tips:

  • Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 50 mph. Each 5 mph over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.25 per gallon for gas, according

Check by Driving this Holiday Season

Over-priced airline ticket – check. Excessive baggage fees – check. Long security lines and airport delays – check. Rather than embarking on an expensive, stress-filled trip by air, the Car Care Council advises that driving is the way to go to keep costs and stress in check this holiday season.

“Holiday travel by air is always hectic and expensive. Add in baggage fees, crowded airports, fewer flights and long lines, and flying does not seem so friendly,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “When you consider that a family of four traveling by car costs about the same as one person traveling by air, driving is clearly the better option.”

In addition to the obvious direct cost savings, going by car offers a number of advantages over flying including:

  • Leave when you want from where you want.
  • No airport parking.
  • No waiting in long ticket counter and security lines.
  • No weather delays.
  • Pack whatever and as much as you want.
  • Stop and stretch any time.
  • More and better meal options.
  • No rental car or taxi expenses.
  • More legroom and overall comfort.
  • No strangers sitting next to you.
  • Convenience and ease of taking your pet with you.
  • Better able to enjoy the ride.

Technology Drives Quality

“The quality of a filter really depends on the technology behind it,” explained Kevin O’Dowd Director of Marketing & Communications for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters – part of the company that invented the very first oil filter in 1923 and the first spin-on oil filter, in 1955. “Filtration is all about capturing and holding debris and contaminants that could otherwise cause gradual wear or even catastrophic failure of your engine or transmission,” O’Dowd said.

According to O’Dowd,“When choosing a replacement filter, most people think first about the filtering medium, and that’s a good idea. There’s a great deal of science that goes into the development and manufacturing of filtering media, and the media used in oil filters is not at all suitable for engine air filters or fuel filters. Each type of filter requires a unique media in order to function properly.”

Filter Efficiency And Capacity

Take oil filters as an example. “The filtering media must be fine enough to capture and hold even the tiny particles that can cause engine damage without restricting the free flow of oil to critical internal engine components, ” said O’Dowd. “Our decades of experience allow us to strike the perfect balance of maximum filtration with minimum restriction.

The Best Possible Oil Change

Getting an oil change on your car according to the maintenance schedule specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual is probably the single best thing you can do to maintain its longevity. Otherwise, in a very short time, you may have to say ‘goodbye’ to what may be your second largest investment.

However, all oil changes are not alike. And whether you do it yourself or have it done for you by a professional, the same rules will apply.

So how can you make sure that your vehicle gets the best possible oil change? Simply follow the tips outlined below.

1. Allow your vehicle’s engine to warm up fully. Once an engine is warmed up completely, all the dirt particles and contaminants that settled at the bottom of the oil pan when the engine was off get churned up and suspended in the oil. This will ensure that most of the contaminants get removed when the oil is drained. In other words, they will be drained out with the old oil.

2. Make sure the vehicle is level when the oil is being drained. This enables the old, dirty oil to drain out as completely as possible.

3. Examine the waste oil as it is draining

Identifying these suspect smells early

“Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council recommends a sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:

1.  The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that might be rubbing against rotating accessory drive pulleys. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot.

2.  The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.

3.  The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given.

4.  The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car’s

Dirty Air While Driving

The Council states, that children, by virtue of their physical size and lifestyle, are more exposed to pollution and also more susceptible to its adverse effects than adults. Whether at school or at home, on the soccer field or at a softball game, children are more likely to be exposed to outdoor pollution. They are also more likely to being driven to these venues in cars, vans or SUVs that potentially only add to their exposure. Particulate and exhaust fumes such as fine dust, diesel soot, pollen bacteria and nitrogen oxides enter the vehicle through the vents and concentrations of these toxic substances inside can be higher than at the side of the road in urban traffic conditions.

 

All this when children’s immune systems are not developed enough to be able to resist and overcome the toxins they encounter. Plus, because they are young, there is plenty more time for these toxins to get absorbed into their systems and affect children’s growth and development. However, the news is not all bad for parents and guardians who want to shield their young charges from environmental toxins … especially when driving or stuck in traffic even if the vehicle’s windows are rolled up

Treat Your Engine Nice

We all know that the Golden Rule reads, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Well, here’s your chance to implement that rule and enhance the life and value of your car at the same time. Over the last decade or so we’ve learned that breathing dirty air can be hazardous to our health. The same logic applies to the engine in your car, SUV, or light truck or van. Keeping the inside of your engine clean will keep it healthy, longer, and will enhance its value if you decide to sell or trade it. MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters is one of the largest suppliers of filters for cars and trucks, so they know a thing or two about treating engines nice, and their spokesman Kevin O’Dowd offers the following advice: “Internal engine parts are made to extreme levels of precision.

 

For instance, hydraulic valve lifters are manufactured to tolerances as stringent as one ten thousandths of an inch (0.0001”). So even tiny particles can interfere with the engine’s operation, and can cause damage to piston rings, engine bearings, and other critical engine components.” Filters are the guardians of your engine, and can do a very effective job

Cabin Air Filters For Your Car

Fittingly, therefore, each year AAFA asks the President of the United States to officially declare May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. And, the first Tuesday of May is World Asthma Day. This year it is May 6th.

While most people who suffer from asthma and allergies know they can use air filters to control the allergens in their homes, few are aware that there is a similar device for their vehicle. Called a “cabin air filter,” this device is especially designed by automakers to ensure that the air one breathes inside a vehicle is clean and free from environmental pollutants when the windows are rolled up.

More than 100 million vehicles on the road in the U.S. today are equipped with cabin air filters. The owner’s manual will tell you if your car is equipped with one or not. Typically, the cabin air filter is located behind the glove box, under the hood near the windshield or under the dash.

“Normally, while driving – especially if one happens to suffer from asthma or allergies – the tendency is to roll up the windows to prevent breathing in dirty outside air,” said Kevin O’Dowd, Director of Marketing & Communications for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters, supplier

Change Your Cars Engine

Thinking along the same lines, what would you say then are the odds of damaging your engine if your engine air filter fails?

Consider this: Your engine ingests about 10,000 gallons of air for every gallon of fuel it consumes. If your gas tank holds 18 gallons of fuel, your engine will ingest 180,000 gallons of air for every tank full of gas it uses. Say you’ve decided to take a road trip to your vacation destination 500 miles away – a 1,000-mile round trip.  If your car consumes 50 gallons of fuel at 20 miles per gallon, it means your engine will handle about 500,000 gallons of air on this trip alone.  What, then, would the odds be of damaging your engine if your engine air filter fails? Much higher than you realize, one should think.

When it comes to changing your car’s engine air filter, stacking the odds in your favor and minimizing the ones that are against you is definitely the safer and cheaper alternative. Change your car’s engine air filter at least once a year.

According to Kevin O’Dowd, Director of Marketing & Communications at MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters, manufacturer and supplier of top quality filters to the North American

Change the batteries in your smoke detector

Abrasive dust, dirt and other contaminants that can enter through the engine’s air intake ducts while you are driving can damage a car’s internal engine components, increase wear and ultimately reduce the engine’s power, performance and long life. A vehicle ingests about 10,000 gallons of air to burn a single gallon of fuel and, air along roads and highways contains all kinds of contaminants such as soot, dirt, leaves, straw, tiny bits of rubber, etc. Large quantities of unfiltered air entering the engine compartment can damage critical engine components and cause cylinder wear. Choosing a quality air filter “Capacity and efficiency in capturing the dirt before it enters the engine combustion chamber are key to determining the quality of an air filter,” says O’Dowd. “Capacity is the amount of dirt the filter can hold before it begins to restrict air flow and efficiency describes how well it performs in capturing the dirt.” Modern engines that are built to be more fuel-efficient and have smaller openings and tighter tolerances call for engine air filters that can trap even the smallest particle of dirt threatening to enter the system.

For instance, Purolator’s PureONE air filter’s oil-wetted, high-capacity media offers twice the capacity of conventional filters to

Breathing clean air contributes to a long and healthy life

In short, if dirt gets inside an engine it can adversely affect a vehicle’s overall performance and long life. “The air filtration system in an automobile works much like the respiratory system in our bodies,” said Kevin O’Dowd, Director of Marketing & Communications for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters, a leading supplier of automotive filters to the aftermarket in North America. A vehicle ingests as much as 10,000 gallons of air to burn a single gallon of fuel and, air along roads and highways contains all manner of contaminants such as soot, dirt, leaves, straw, tiny bits of rubber, etc. Large quantities of unfiltered air entering the engine compartment can damage critical engine components and cause cylinder wear, said O’Dowd. So what really makes a quality air filter? “’Capacity’ and ‘efficiency’ in capturing the dirt before it enters the engine combustion chamber are two of the most important criteria that determine the quality of an air filter,” said O’Dowd. “Capacity is the amount of dirt the filter can hold before it begins to restrict air flow and efficiency describes how well it performs its job.” Mo

dern engines that are built to be more fuel-efficient and have smaller orifices and tighter tolerances call for