Every time you start your car, the dashboard warning lights glow to greet you and fade away after a few seconds. But if they stay on, there may be a major problem that needs to be dealt with right away.
"Motorists need to be aware of the critical 'big three' warning lights," said John Nielsen, director of AAA Automotive. "They include those that monitor engine oil pressure, engine coolant temperature and the vehicle charging system. To reduce the chances of vehicle damage and/or a roadside breakdown, these warning lights require prompt and proper action when they illuminate."
AAA provides the following guidelines on what to do if these lights come on:
* Engine oil pressure: This warning light commonly displays an oil can symbol or the word "OIL." This means that the engine has lost its supply of pressurized lubricating oil and severe engine damage or catastrophic failure can occur within seconds.
If the oil pressure warning light comes on, pull off the road immediately, shut off the engine and have your vehicle towed to a repair facility. Unless you are in an extremely dangerous situation, do not attempt to drive the vehicle.
* Engine coolant temperature: This light commonly displays a thermometer symbol or the logo "TEMP." When the coolant temperature light illuminates, the engine temperature has exceeded the safe maximum. Until the rise in coolant temperature is reversed, the engine will suffer accelerated wear. If the increase in temperature continues, major engine damage or catastrophic failure will result.
If the coolant temperature warning light comes on, quickly assess the situation. Steam or liquid coolant coming from under the hood is a clear indication of overheating or a leak.
Pull off the road at the first safe opportunity and call for assistance. Because boiling coolant can cause severe burns, do not attempt to open the hood in the presence of excessive steam and never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot.
* Charging system: This light commonly displays a battery symbol or the logo "ALT" or "GEN" and means that the electrical system is no longer being supplied with power by the alternator.
Depending on the electrical demands of your vehicle and the reserve capacity of its battery, you will generally have at least 20 minutes of daylight driving time before voltage drops to the point at which the ignition system will no longer function.
If the charging system warning light comes on, turn off all unnecessary electrical accessories and drive to the nearest repair facility to have the vehicle checked.
If you are unsure of what any of these may mean, we highly receommend you visit your nearest Vehicle Repair Shop.
Easy and cheap ways to save fuel and money while driving and buying gas.
Fear not...Help is at hand...GET A BICYCLE! Seriously, there are a few things that can be done without throwing your car keys away and walking everywhere. (PHEW)!
A lot of the things you can do to save fuel are easy and free. When was the last time you checked your tires to see if they were inflated to the correct pressure? Under inflated tires are one of the main causes of excess fuel consumption. It's easy to check your tire pressures daily with a
cheap tire pressure gauge; if you don't know how asks your local garage mechanic to show you (A free beer works wonders).
When you buy your fuel can have an effect on what you get. Gas is sold by volume and as we all know from school, liquids expand when warm, so if you buy your gas at the hottest part of the day you will get less than if you buy when it is cold. So the logical time to buy your gas is just before dawn (Who's Dawn?) when it's coldest.
With 24 hour shopping it would make sense to do your weekly shop while others are asleep and fill up your tank at the same time. The roads will be quieter so less traffic to get stuck behind and waste fuel. There are various (free) websites and apps that will tell you the cheapest gas prices in your area.
How about just washing your car. It causes less drag, ... Honestly. Why do you think that swimmers shave their heads (i.e. Duncan Goodhew)? Or what about those skin tight smooth figure hugging suits worn by downhill skiers? ( Just going for a cold shower). Make car washing fun, get all the family involved. Hose down the dog, hose down the kids. Hose down the whole neighbourhood. (If winter you may ignore this one)
Sitting at the lights revving the engine may impress the boy racers but it uses gas. Rev the engine 15 times and you use enough fuel to travel one mile. Remember this next time you have to push your car to the gas station. Is your car due for a service? (I know a good priest who can give the last rites at a reasonable price). I know it costs money for servicing your car if you are unable to do it yourself. But the cost in extra fuel if your car is not running right is even more. (Blocked air filter, worn spark plugs, sticking brakes, etc.)
Best of all drive safely. Do not tailgate! if you do you will have to brake harder when the car in front does. Give some distance to the car in front. You will use your brakes less and still get there at the same time. Watch the traffic far ahead and try to read how they are going to act, if you see brake
lights up ahead you can react a bit sooner. If you are driving in the wet you can sometimes see the reflections of brake lights on the wet road surface. This allows you to slow down sooner and avoid harsh braking.
We hope these tips will help you stay safe on the roads!
These tricks can help if you find yourself locked in a battle with the elements
(BPT) - As drivers bundle up to take on Old Man Winter this season, having a few tricks up your sleeve can be a big help in keeping your cool on the road. Here are five hacks for battling the elements and staying safe on the roads.
Got stuck? Snow problem!
Hazardous winter weather requires that drivers take additional precautions. According to the latest Hankook Tire Gauge Index, 72 percent of drivers indicated they would not want to drive in icy conditions. Further, 84 percent of Americans recognize the dangers of black ice, the most dangerous weather condition for driving.
When the weather warms, it's time to give your car the once over
ASE offer the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer.
Get Ready For a Bumpy Ride
As winter winds down and the weather gets warmer, motorists will see more potholes on the roadways and avoiding them can be a real challenge. If you hit a pothole, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends watching for three warning signs to determine if your vehicle has been damaged.
"Pothole season may last longer these days as many municipalities do not have the resources to fill potholes as fast as they should, leaving drivers to dodge them well into late spring and summer," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Because hitting a pothole can put a big dent in your wallet, making necessary repairs right away could save you from more costly ones down what could be a very bumpy road."
Ice, rain, snow and freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your car. To keep your family safe on the slippery roads this winter, it's important to take a few simple winterization steps.
Proper maintenance can also go a long way in helping preserve the investment in your vehicle. Follow these five tips to keep your vehicle in top shape throughout the winter weather:
1. Switch engine oil: Oil lubricates the engine so it can function properly, but not all automobile oil is the same. If you live in a cold climate, consider switching to a thinner, less viscous oil. For example, a 10W-30 might be ideal for hot summer weather, but a thicker 5W-30 is better for when temperatures dip below freezing. Ask your auto mechanic what is recommended and refer to the manufacturer's manual for more insight.
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