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.
Automatic car alarms are being developed to reduce car theft numbers. These automatic car alarms alter the owner when a vehicle is stolen, and sometimes work with two-way communication systems to return a signal that will incapacitate the car and thwart the robbery attempt but cutting off the fuel delivery to the engine.
This is particularly helpful when the car owner is away from the vehicle and therefore unable to hear an audible alarm. With a traditional car alarm (just ringing), a person out of town without their car may not know for days or even weeks that the alarm was activated. An automatic car alarm will dial a predetermined phone number or even send a text message at the time of alarm activation, to immediately inform the owner of trouble. Some of the systems are so sensitive that the owner is not only informed that the alarm detonated, but the action is specified to let the owner know whether the car was just bumped or is moving.
The automatic car alarm allows two-way transmission of messages, enabling a remote signal to stop the fuel supply to the car in motion. Unless the vehicle is on the back of a tow truck or otherwise moving without being driven, stopping the fuel supply will stop the vehicle, and often curtail a robbery in progress. Many automatic car alarm systems include a GPS component, for tracking the vehicle's location however it is transported.
This fuel cut-off can also be activated from within the vehicle, allowing a carjack victim to surreptitiously cut off the gas and apply the brakes to stop a carjack from being completed. This functionality means that a person who might have otherwise been helpless in this situation can now play an active role in protecting themselves against carjacking. This feature of some automatic car alarms is well placed to allow the victim access to the function without alerting the thief.
While some jokesters might see this fuel cutoff option as a practical joke opportunity, it should be taken seriously. The automatic car alarm notification often engages to inform law officials of a potential carjacking, which would make the joke entirely unfunny. It's important to remember that these systems are designed and intended to quickly notify of potential theft and possible life-threatening situations. For more info see http://www.bestcaralarmreviews.com/Car_Alarms on Car Alarms.
Whether the automatic car alarm directly informs the police of your vehicle's status, or contacts you for you to call the police, remember that apprehending a car thief is much better handled by law enforcement officials. It might be tempting to try to intercede on your own behalf, but please leave it in the hands of the officials trained to handle the situation.
When you buy your next car from Great City Cars, we can offer a few locations that can install many different types of alarms for you.
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.
Cold weather is here and it won't be denied! As with many things the Winter brings special considerations to your automobile. Don't fret, there are a few easy steps that you can take to head off most car issues associated with the cold weather.
For instance: Are you wondering if your tire tread is still "good enough" to get your through the slick winter driving safely? An easy way to check is to take a Lincoln-head penny and insert it head first into the most worn part of your tire tread. If you can see Abe's head, he may be telling you to get a new set of tires.
Will your outside car get its engine frozen on these frigid nights? When the white stuff hits, make sure you have plenty of the green stuff — antifreeze. Antifreeze can be one of the trickiest parts of your winterizing routine because, even though it has a strong green color, the additives could be worn out. A good rule of them is to replace it every 40,000 miles with a radiator "flush and fill".
We at Great City Cars want you to be safe this Winter! Find more Winter Car Care tips in the full article.
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