Friday, December 28, 2012 Today/MotorWeek $26,000 Midsize Sedan Shootout compares six midsize sedans under $26,000 to see which is best for today's family. We were joined by MotorWeek and USAToday, using input from a real family.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Wishing You and Your Family a Very Safe and Happy Holiday! 

"May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!" 
~Author Unknown

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Driving Tips - Avoiding Holiday Accidents

Holiday celebrations can be happy and exciting times for friends and family. Many people travel during the holiday season, looking forward to visiting with family and friends who live long distances away. Unfortunately, the holiday season has a high incidence of traffic accidents, turning a celebration into a tragedy if people are injured or killed. During the holiday season, all motorists should be aware of the increased traffic, and holiday travelers should follow proper safety precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Drivers should be mindful of these holiday travel tips to protect themselves, their passengers, and the occupants of other drivers.
  • Leave early. By allowing yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, you can drive at safer speeds, take adequate rest breaks, and keep your stress levels down. Without enough stops, drivers can become overly tired or distracted and cause an accident and a result.
  • Avoid peak travel dates if possible. The day before a holiday is usually the day most people travel. Sometimes you can avoid traffic conditions by traveling on the holiday itself or by planning your family celebrations on other days.
  • Before you leave, check the condition of your car, including your tire pressure, oil, and lights. Carry spare and emergency equipment with you. Always have a spare tire, jumper cables, a jack, and emergency equipment such as road flares and extra blankets in case of an accident.
  • Keep your passengers safe. Make sure everyone is buckled up properly with seat belts and child restraint or booster seats.
  • Plan out a route with alternatives. Get directions in advance, with alternative routes in mind in case of bad weather or traffic congestion. Expect traffic near large cities.
  • Inquire about weather conditions and construction on highways from friends and relatives. Listen to local radio stations for indications of adverse weather.
  • Hide any sort of gift or present during stops. Brightly colored packaging during the holidays invites thieves to break into your vehicle.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. Provide children with plenty of their own distractions, and always pull off the road to use your cell phone.
  • Don't drink and drive. Always have a designated driver if there will be drinking at your holiday celebration.
By following these safety precautions, you can make the holidays a little safer for everyone and avoid a tragic traffic accident. 

Article Source:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Great Backup Challenge and USA Today invited seven automakers to take part in our parking challenge. Four accepted. Here's how they did.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Steel Beam Through Windshield Prank

This is something Wile E. Coyote would have used! It's the old fake construction beam through the windshield trick, and people are convinced their car is ruined.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What To Do When Driving On Ice

No one likes dealing with ice, snow or even slush. Being safe in these conditions requires observant behavior, and there are a few basic rules of conduct that can make driving during these winter months safer for everyone.

It is crucial - as with any other weather condition - that you are accustomed to the present conditions as well as being proactive when you are driving. In addition to all this, speed and safety distance must be adapted to different road conditions. Smooth braking, steering and gentle acceleration/deceleration are crucial for a safe drive. Take a look at these tips that should help you in becoming the best winter driver possible:

1. Practice makes perfect: Many private companies along with local and state departments offer safety training, in which owners of vehicles with automatic transmission and ABS can learn how to correctly handle a car on ice.

2. Approach: With slippery road conditions being a factor when driving on ice, a vehicle with manual transmission in second gear is you best option. Just gently press the gas pedal - otherwise the car slips or skids out of control.

3. Turning: Always turn with the greatest possible response at a low speed. If you have a manual transmission, let go of the clutch gently when shifting. Shifting up early in automatic vehicles will not "kick-down" like they will if you drive a stick.

4. Steering: Avoid jerky steering movements. If the vehicle still skids, disengage the clutch and try not to emotionally counter-steer. If your car is unresponsive while steering, there's only one thing left to do: gently apply the brakes!

5. Brakes without ABS: Disengaging the ABS on a slippery surface and pressing the brake pedal only is a great move. Otherwise, the wheels will lock on you and the vehicle will begin to skid. If you decide to perform emergency braking with full force on the brake pedal, the car may spin out of control. You should let off the brake and steer in the desired direction, then slow down again.

6. Brakes with ABS: Antilock brake systems are only at its full effectiveness when the pedal is pressed and the maximum rate is maintained. Vehicles with ABS can be slowed and controlled at the same time, so long as you don't slam on them.

7. Ensuring you have a good auto warranty: A warranty might seem expensive at first but when you look at what it can do for you long term, it quickly turns out to be a great addition, particularly as a car warranty can help ensure your brakes and transmission are ready to face another winter.

Article Source:

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Type of Crash Test Aims for Safer Vehicles

New crash test aims to drive improvements

Only 3 of 11 midsize luxury and near-luxury cars evaluated earn good or acceptable ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new small overlap frontal crash test, the latest addition to a suite of tests designed to help consumers pick the safest vehicles.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Car Body Repair Common Result of an Accident

If you've ever been in an accident you will know that car body repair is usually the route to take if your car can be saved. If you haven't been in an accident before, however, you may feel panicked and at a loss about what to do. Here are some tips about the side effects of your accident and some things that you should consider.

It's scary to be in an accident. The shock of the impact is scary and jarring. The first thing you should do is make sure that you and your passengers are okay. If not then call 911 if you are able to. Some cars have OnStar devices that will check in to make sure you and your passengers are okay. If not then they will contact emergency services for you.

Once you confirm you and your passengers are okay check to make sure the people in the other car are okay too. Once you make sure everyone is healthy then you will want to evaluate the damage to your car and to the other car(s) in the accident. This is when you should exchange insurance information with the other people involved in the accident.

Depending on the severity of the accident you may have to wait for the police to come and make a report. If the accident is minor then you have a legal obligation to report the accident to the nearest accident reporting station as soon as possible. If you do not report the accident, however minor, you could get in trouble for a hit and run.

Once you have reported the accident and exchanged insurance information you will have to contact your insurance company. They will likely want you to get an estimate of the damage to your car before they decide whether they will fix it or if it will be a write off. Most insurance companies have a deductible that you'll have to pay.

Once you have the insurance payment figured out and the estimate done for your car then you can begin the process of getting it fixed. Depending on the severity of the damage this could take some time. Most insurance companies will provide you with a rental car in the meantime so you can still get around. Most accidents at the very minimum cause some sort of damage to the car's body. This usually means you will need some auto paint repair done. If you have bumper damage then you will likely need car body repair done as well.

It's important to go to a professional who you trust for your auto paint repair and car body repairs. Since the insurance company is paying the costs to fix your vehicle let them worry about the price. Your major concern should be that the job is done properly and in a timely fashion. Your insurance company might not let you pick the place that you get your car work done. However, if they do then you should do a little research first before you pick an auto body shop. It's always best to choose a shop that will guarantee their work with a warranty. Car body repairs that are not done well can cause you more automotive problems later on.

When it comes to being in an accident the main thing to do is stay calm and follow the tips above step-by-step to reduce the negative side effects you may experience.

Article Source:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What To Do After A Car Accident: A Checklist

If you've been in an accident, you're probably feeling shaken, confused, and stressed out. That's very common, and you don't need to worry. If you search the internet, there are plenty of websites to tell you what to do. To help you get a grip on the first steps after an accident, we've written this little guide.

1. Do not leave the accident scene until the police have given you permission. For most accidents, the police don't arrive. If this is the case for you, just make sure you have all the information you need from the other driver and make sure you are uninjured.

2. If someone else gets injured during the accident, call for help IMMEDIATELY.

3. Turn on your emergency/hazard lights to alert other drivers about the situation.

4. Get contact information from any witnesses. If you don't do this, it could come down to your word against the other drivers, which can make it difficult to deal with insurance issues.

5. Get the other driver's name, driver's license number, license plate number, type of car, etc. Also get the name of their insurance company, their policy number, and any other identifying data.

6. If there are police present, ask for an incident number. This will help you get a police report later, which will show any citations and the officer's understanding of the event.

7. Do not accept fault, even if you believe you might be responsible, and do not apologize. You don't know all the details yet, and you might later find out something else caused the accident. Make a statement only to the police.

8. Write down all the details of the accident while they are fresh in your mind. Note all your own actions, the location, time, weather, distractions like road conditions. Also write down the direction you were driving, the direction the other driver was going, the speed you were traveling, the speed limit, traffic signs present, etc.

9. You might be injured - it's hard to tell at the accident because of the adrenaline and endorphins pulsing through your body. You should always go see a medical professional as soon as you feel pain.

10. Be honest with your doctor. Tell him or her about EVERY single detail of you pain. Headaches, nausea, dizziness, memory loss, etc., may all seem small and very temporary, but they might not be, and need to be recorded.

11. Take photos of your car and your injuries right after the accident. If you need to explain property damage or medical expenses to the insurance company, this will help a lot.

12. Keep a journal after the accident with any details you remember. Especially keep track of your pain, discomfort, sleep loss, anxieties. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common after car accidents and should be identified as soon as possible so you can get the help you need.

13. Be careful what you tell people about the accident. Whether you were the at fault party or not, these details can come up if someone decides to pursue a claim for damages and you don't want one slip of the tongue to prevent justice.

14. Don't sign any releases from the insurance company until you are comfortable that you will not need any further compensation for property or medical damages.

We hope this checklist helps relieve the stress of a car accident for you.

Article Source:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

9 Tips for Driving In The Rain

Depending on where you live, driving in the rain can either be a daily experience or something rarely performed. In either case, the situation definitely adds to the danger of driving and something that is rarely covered in drivers ed. In particular, California driver's ed in most cases will have virtually no coverage of driving in the rain as it just isn't that common.

First off, lets examine why driving in the rain is different. There are four main differences that require special attention and techniques:

1) Car tires have much less grip in the rain. This causes a variety of problems including increased stopping distance, less cornering capability, and the potential for aquaplaning. This is an area typically not covered in driver's education because the car's capabilities vary so greatly.

2) Vision can be greatly impaired while driving in the rain, especially during a heavy rain storm and at night.

3) Many people are clueless, even in areas where is rains often. This represents additional danger as it becomes less likely drivers will react properly and reliably.

4) Road conditions vary dramatically. Even within your own lane there are large differences in road grip.

So, whether you live in a rainy area like Seattle or in the deserts of Arizona it is important to remember the following collection of 9 tips when driving in the rain.

1) Check your equipment. Driving in difficult conditions means relying more heavily on your car's equipment, including tires, wipers, and lights. Check your tires once a month to ensure the tread depth is adequate. Make sure your tires are properly inflated per your owners' manual.

2) Turn on your lights. It is a good practice to turn on your headlights when driving in the rain as it can increase your vision but more importantly make your car easier to see by other drivers. Also, in some states like New York the law requires drivers to turn on their lights when it is raining.

3) Slow down. Cars react slower in the rain as the tires have less grip. It will take longer to stop and the car cannot go as fast through a turn and maintain a healthy grip level. Just keep in mind that emergency maneuvers will simply take longer to execute in the rain.

4) Maintain a larger gap. Given that it takes longer to stop and visibility is decreased, leaving a larger gap between you and the car ahead is required. Remember that it takes longer to stop in the rain so the additional space will be needed.

5) Avoid aquaplaning. As taught in driver's ed, aquaplaning occurs when water separates your tires from the road. The worst cases of aquaplaning can be likened to driving on ice where there is very little grip. Do not drive through deep puddles of water and avoid situations where you need to drive through standing water at a high rate of speed.

6) Properly recover from a skid. Given a lack of grip, there is a higher probability that you may enter a skid at some point when driving in the rain. Most driver's education courses get this one wrong, so beware. The easiest way to recover from a skid is to look in the direction you want to go and steer the car in that direction. Forget about steering into a skid, etc. as this is much too complicated to remember in the moment you are in a skid.

7) Drive in previous car tracks. Let the car ahead of you "plow the road", so to speak. Their tracks are where the water level will be minimal as the car in front has already moved away from where your tires will be travelling. Driving in the previous car's tracks will lessen the chance of aquaplaning and provide better grip in general.

8) Road is slippery after the first rain. This is definitely taught in all driving courses and is very important to remember. Many a driver has forgotten this rule and paid the price. When it first starts to rain, oils that have accumulated in the road float to the surface making the conditions even more treacherous.

9) Be extra careful at night. Obviously vision is much less at night, which most everyone understands. However, the combination of driving at night and in the rain reduces vision dramatically. Just realize that nighttime rain driving requires even larger gaps and more time to react due to the reduced vision.

If you pay need to the above 9 tips for driving in the rain, your chances of having an incident are greatly reduced. Most of them are obvious but a few are not so please pay careful attention to the entire list. And hopefully the next time you drive in the rain it will be with less anxiety, greater confidence, and be a safer experience overall.

Article Source:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stay Visible - It Could Save Your Life This Winter

The upcoming wintry months introduce colder, darker nights and unfortunately, even more risks when driving. Whether you'll be out on your motorcycle or driving around in your car or any other automobile for that matter, making sure you're visible to other drivers and pedestrians is a must. Besides, it could save your life.
Your visibility
You need to take into account how particular weather conditions may affect your visibility, especially as each night is getting darker and darker with an increase of fog, mist and heavy rain.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when driving a vehicle:
  • Before heading out, check that all of your headlights are in full working order. Also make sure that every headlight is clean because dirt will reduce the effectiveness of your headlights.

  • Make sure that your brake lights are in full working order; if they're broken then the car behind will fail to see when you are braking.

  • You must always use your headlights in foggy, misty or dark conditions where you feel your visibility may be reduced - after all, they're designed to make you visible to others and to improve your vision of the roads.

  • If it's a foggy day then keep a safe distance away from the car in front (about three seconds). Always drive slowly and carefully in fog. Make sure your fog lights are on and use low beams.
When riding a motorcycle or bicycle
  • As previously expressed, checking that all of your lights are in full working order is a must.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing - luminous jackets are a lifesaver. Remember to wear your safety gear and to wrap up warm. Thermals are the best investment for the winter months as they will keep you warm and protect various body parts from getting wet or sodden!
Your vision matters
Although it's important to make sure you're noticed on the road, it's just as important to make sure that your vision isn't obstructed in any way. Before heading out on a morning, make sure you carry out these little life-saving procedures...
For all vehicles:
  • Make sure all windows are fully clean and clear of snow. Although this is something we all dread waking up to, it's a necessity during the winter and a lifesaver. Clear every fragment of frost off each window so that you can see out of each window perfectly fine. And no, don't clear one little circle of snow away so it acts like a little peephole - if your windows are obstructed then so is your vision and you will also be faced with a pretty large fine.

  • Clear any fragments of snow from the top of your vehicle. The excess snow can fall onto your windscreen when braking, causing yet another obstruction. Large pieces of snow can obstruct your vision entirely which can cause a real nasty accident.

  • Leave a spare pair of sunnies in the glove box. Although this sounds like an odd request, sometimes the dazzle of the sun (when it appears) can affect your vision of the road, especially when it's setting on an evening.

  • Scrub away any windscreen smears with screen wash. If they don't budge then use a glass polish and wipe away.

  • If your windows become a little misty then turn on the air conditioning. Don't put up with windows that aren't fully clear.

Article Source:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing You And Your Family A Very Safe And Happy Thanksgiving From All Of Us At Corby's Collision!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

How To Remember Where You Parked

Learn how to remember where you parked with these tips, tricks, and techniques.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Disappearing Roadblock Prank

Motorists are sandwiched between a police officer and a magical construction worker who seems to be chatting with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a sewer. As soon as they turn around, the construction guy vanishes in thin air, leaving the drivers with a lot of explaining to do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Car Accident Prevention

Countless individuals die in roadway accidents in the U.S. each year. The bulk of the mishaps that occur involve unfortunate passenger vehicle incidents. The drivers are usually the main cause of car accidents. Other reasons of vehicle collisions include bad weather and complicated road conditions.

It is imperative for vehicle owners while driving to be very cautious to put a stop to the droves of automobile accidents occurring yearly. There are various quality safety driving guidelines that must be followed to lessen the risk of a crash. If every single individual comply with these simple road rules it would decrease the amount of accidents quite substantially.

A car should be regularly maintained and checked for any complications monthly. Maintaining a routine schedule for vehicle servicing is a standard preventative procedure that you can easily do. All drivers should examine the front and even the rear mirrors of their vehicle to prevent a possible accident. Having appropriate mirrors allow a clear unaltered view of other nearby cars. This can help you to avoid common yet deadly automobile accidents.

We all know the dangers associated with drinking and driving. Judgment is impaired when anyone is under the influence of alcohol substance or drugs. Its impossible to drive safely in that state. Drinking while driving is a fraudulent offense in America. Operating any form of machinery under the influence of a substance is severely prohibited.

When driving it is essential to maintain the correct distance between two vehicles to steer clear of back bumper accidents. A driver should never attempt to grasp for things in their vehicle while driving. There's a higher likelihood that the driver could fail to retain control of the car and cause a fatal collision. Another issue while driving is road rage. Each driver must manage their temper when on the road.

Article Source:

If your car is damaged in an accident, Corby's Collision can help you get back on the road fast! We have been in business for 47 years in Vacaville, California. When you do business with Corby's Collision you will not only deal with their qualified and professional staff but, also with Paul himself. He is an Owner/Operator and likes to be "hands on" with everything that goes in and out of the shop.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Top Tips to Achieve the Maximum Visibility on the Road

Being able to see has always been rather important but when you're hurtling down the motorway at hundreds of miles an hour it becomes more important still. While it might sound fairly obvious that visibility is crucial when you're driving, for many people it is something that doesn't get the attention it deserves and often we end up driving while struggling with fogging, condensation, ice, rain or other obstructions. Here we will look at how to keep your windshield absolutely perfect for seeing through so that when you drive you won't be putting yourself and others at serious risk.

Fogging: First of all you should look at ways to avoid your screen misting up. This is something that many of us will encounter when we're driving and it can be very difficult to counter while we're moving. The first tip then is to pull over when this happens. You might be tempted to say to yourself 'I can still see well enough' or 'it will go away in a moment' - but if you then have an accident you are going to look back on these thoughts and seriously regret them. Better to take five minutes and pull over than to regret the decision not to for the rest of your life.

To solve the issue you need to make sure that the temperature inside the car and specifically on the windshield is not too different from the temperature of the glass outside. One way to do this is by heating up the windshield which you can do by blowing warm air on it, and another is to decrease the temperature of the interior of your car by opening a window. Either way you can ensure that less water settles on the screen so you can see more clearly. To avoid having this happen altogether, look into getting heating for your windscreen and this way it won't get foggy to start with.

Chips and Scratches: A tiny chip or scratch on your windshield may not seem like a distraction, but all it needs to do is to obscure your vision slightly when something is a blip on the horizon, or to distract you momentarily and that will be enough to cause you to have an accident. Make certain then that you repair this damage and that you avoid letting it happen in the first place by parking your car undercover and by avoiding driving too fast on gravel tracks.

Rain and Dirt: Rain and dirt shouldn't be a problem as long as you have your windscreen wipers topped up and ready to go. Make sure you check this then before any journey, and ensure that you have the right level of both water and product so that you don't end up with soap marks. You should also clean your windshield from time to time at home properly with a sponge, and you should make sure that the wipers themselves are in good condition and are pressing firmly against the screen when they operate.

Article Source:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 Undercover: Texting While Driving Rampant took to the highways of Chicago to see just how many people were illegally using their smartphones while driving. This video shows just how pervasive distracted driving due to these gadgets truly is.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spray-On Wheel Cleaners

Plenty of spray-on, wipe-off tire cleaners promise to make your wheels sparkle like new. We test ArmorAll, Black Magic and several others. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Most Reliable New Cars From Consumer Reports

After crunching the numbers on more than a millions cars, Consumer Reports National Research Center can tell you which are the most reliable.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Becoming a Better Driver - A Few Tips That Can Help

Driving is all about remaining in control at all times. Those who love driving may feel tempted at times to indulge in a bit of driving 'outrage' if the right circumstances present themselves in the form of a great looking road or sparse traffic or miles and miles of empty concrete space which could let your adrenalin go wild. The biggest difference between good drivers and bad drivers is that good drivers adopt their methods and attitudes for the driving environment while the bad stick to their style of driving regardless of the situation.

The appropriate thing to do is practice good car control. But good car control does not equate to good driving, which is all about following the general traffic rules, overtaking only when it is absolutely imperative and that too from the right side and generally making sure that you don't create a situation on the roads that can inconvenience other drivers.

It is said that a defensive style of driving is the best way to keep away from problems while on the road. Additionally, it can help you enhance life of brake linings, tyres and make your vehicle fuel efficient. But above all this, it helps you save lives and that's a huge thing. There are some basic principles to be followed while practicing defensive driving. It is designed to save you money and reduce stress associated with driving. Whether you are on the road to keep an urgent appointment or for a leisurely Sunday drive, being defensive in your driving will help you remain in control at all times.

Becoming a better driver is also about planning for safety. This includes taking steps that ensure breakdown protection. Do you have a breakdown cover as a part of your policy? Does your insurance company have an emergency assistance number? These are facts that you must check before you actually start driving. Keeping a list of emergency phone numbers in the glove box, wallet or handbag or programmed into your phone can help you deal with emergencies better.

Unless you are on a routine drive to your office or the market, it is better to plan your route to save a lot of potential frustration. Make sure the plan is in bold letters so you can read it clearly without shifting attention from the road.

Becoming a better driver is all about doing a lot of commonsense things that can keep you safe during your journey.

Article Source:

Friday, October 26, 2012

How To Prevent Road Rage

Prevent road rage with these tips on keeping cool behind the wheel. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

After the Accident: What to Do

Year after year, people are involved in car accidents by the thousands. If you are one of the unlucky people, it is important that you know what to do after the accident. Your immediate reactions can greatly affect your future. With the right actions, costs can be reduced, injuries can be further prevented, also the clean up and repair process can be accelerated. Follow these steps so that you will have a ready action plan if you are involved in an accident.

First, keep an emergency kit in your glove compartment. Include in this kit, a pen and paper for note taking, carry a cell phone when you drive, and a medical card indicating conditions and allergies that medical personnel who may treat you should be aware of. A disposable camera is a great idea, even if your cell phone takes pictures. It will prove worthwhile if this occurs on the one day you forget your cell phone. You should take pictures of the vehicles at the scene. In your kit, include a list of law enforcement phone numbers.

Think of safety first. If no major injuries have occurred, move the cars over to the side of the road so that they are out of the way of oncoming traffic. In the case that a car is not able to be moved, passengers and drivers should stay in the car with their seatbelts on until help has arrived. Activate the hazard lights on the car and utilize flares and cones, if you have them.

Be sure to exchange information with the other party or parties in the accident. Exchange the following: names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance and policy numbers, license plate numbers and driver's license numbers, also the owner's name of each vehicle. If the owner is not the person who was driving the car during the accident, find out what the relationship between the two is. Photograph the accident as documentation. Then file an accident report. Do so even if a law enforcement officer does not respond to the accident. This can be done at a police station, or many times it is available at the Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Know what your Insurance policy covers. You may also have some coverage through your auto warranty. For example, you do not want to find out after the fact that the two truck or rental car were not covered by your insurance, warranty, or assistance plan. These coverage areas usually only add a dollar or two to your payment each month and may be worthwhile.

Article Source:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mythbusters - Car Crash Force

Mythbusters - Car crash force

If your car is damaged in a car accident, Corby's Collision can help you get back on the road fast! We have been in business for 47 years in Vacaville, California. When you do business with us you will not only deal with their qualified and professional staff but, also with Paul himself. He is an Owner/Operator and likes to be "hands on" with everything that goes in and out of the shop.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Didn't Know That - Air Bags

Learn how air bags quickly deploy like rockets all in the name of passenger safety.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Protecting Teen Drivers

New teen drivers are almost ten times as likely to be in an accident as middle-aged drivers. Consumer Reports offers important safety tips to help protect young drivers. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Staying Awake at the Wheel

Thousands of deaths happen every year due to people falling asleep behind the wheel and it happens because people don't get enough sleep or don't have enough breaks when travelling long distances.

Stay awake when behind the wheel and decrease the number of road traffic accidents due to drivers falling asleep. We have a number of different tips for you to follow to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel:

  • Stop driving or switch drivers, this is the most effective method because you know you're not going to be driving anymore so there are no risks of you falling asleep behind the wheel. We would advise you to stop driving if you feel like you are going to fall asleep, because the chances are that you will!

  • Make sure you have enough sleep if you know you have a long journey ahead of you. You should be sleeping around 7-9 hours a night, several nights in a row if you know you have a long drive ahead of you. Sleep is essential when driving and you need to be focused at all times. When taking your driving lessons, make sure that you have enough sleep the night before you go on your lessons so that you have full concentration.

  • Try to plan your journey so that you arrive at your destination before midnight. Your body most wants to sleep between the hours of midnight and the early morning. Plan your journey around these times and you will find that you wont be as tired.

  • Know when you need to stop driving! Look out for the signs to show when you're getting tired and be prepared to pull over at a safe, convenient and legal place.

Many myths are flying around about staying awake when driving and these are things your should NOT do:

  • Open a window or turn the air con on. Although this may make you feel like you are slightly more awake with the fresh air you aren't and this is when driving whilst tired becomes its most dangerous!
  • Playing loud music or singing aloud is another one that doesn't work! This will distract you from the road and is equally as dangerous as driving whilst tired.

Remember when venturing out on a long journey to plan way ahead so that you have no chance at falling asleep at the wheel. Pay attention to the do's and don'ts when staying awake at the wheel, and always get a good night's sleep the night before your driving lessons.

Article Source:

Monday, October 8, 2012

What Does The Colour Of Your Car Say About You?

Cars come in a wide range of colours and most people are drawn to a specific colour from the moment they learn to drive. There are some colours that are more popular than others and of course there are a few shades that hardly anybody chooses if they get a choice. What most people don't know however is that the colour of your car can actually say a lot about your personality. Here we will take a look at five of the most popular car colours and what they represent.
There are numerous different shades of red but all have one thing in common: sensuality. It is thought that the more vibrant the colour, the more bold the driver will be; those who drive cars that are lighter in colour are still sensual but they are more subtle in their appearance. Red is also associated with high energy and outgoing traits; people who like to stand out are likely to opt for a red coloured car.
Many colour psychologists believe that people who drive blue cars are calm, confident and collected. This may be why so many of us tend to subconsciously trust blue car drivers, no matter what the shade. Light blue is associated with calmness and faithfulness, both of which are great traits to have whilst dark blue is associated with confidence and authority, which is probably one of the reasons why policemen wear this coloured uniform too.
Black is thought to be the ultimate power colour and can actually say a lot about a person. Colour consultants all tend to agree that people who own black cars are not easy to manipulate as they give off an empowered illusion in all aspects of their day-to-day life. Most people who own black cars also have a black wardrobe to back it up. They are classy and elegant and appreciate the finer things in life.
Silver is often associated with science fiction and the future and those that drive silver cars have a lot of things going for them. Firstly silver is a true metallic colour, like gold, and it is often perceived as being a "rich" colour. People who drive silver cars are often prestigious and flashy however this isn't necessarily a criticism. Elegance and style are two of the personality traits associated with silver car drivers so if you know of anyone with a silver car you can expect big things from them.
Although many people believe that women predominantly drive white cars this is not the case. White cars are hard to keep clean and it is thought that the people who drive them are not only incredibly tidy people in their daily lives but concise, clear and direct in their actions too. White car owners aren't easy to please so if you've been struggling to please someone for a while and haven't gotten anywhere check out their car, it may just explain why.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Airbag History And Safety

Airbags were made in the mid-1970's, a time during which seatbelt use was greatly declining and traffic fatalities increasing as a result. They were thus originally marketed as an alternative to seatbelts rather than a supplementary safety aid as they are today. It was soon found, however, that the use of airbags without the accompaniment of a seatbelt could result in severe injury or even death. Since airbags have been coupled with seatbelts for safety, airbags have become an integral part to the safety system of just about any new car on the market.

Every year new types of airbags are added to vehicles. The first airbags only deflated from the steering wheel, today the many type of airbags include:

o Frontal airbags-these bags deploy from the steering wheel and now include "shaped" airbags.
o Passenger airbags-the first bags created to protect passengers as well deploy from the dash.
o Side airbags-it was soon found that while airbags were great for front or back collisions, there was no available protection for T-bone or side crashes.
o Side tubular or curtain airbag-protection for the head during a side collision.
o Knee airbag-this bag protects knees and legs and is located beneath the steering wheel.
o Rear Curtain airbag-provides a curtain shield to protect the heads of rear sitting passengers in the event of a rear end crash.
o Rear center airbag-this bag was developed to reduce injuries to rear passengers in a side collision.

Airbag Safety Tips

From 1990 to 2008, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 6,377 lived have been saved and countless injuries prevented thanks to airbags. But while airbags are undoubtedly invaluable lifesaving devices, improper use or faulty systems can result in injury or death. In the same period of time as the previous statistic, 175 fatalities were reported as a result of airbags. Of these fatalities, 104 were children.

To stay safe while riding in a vehicle with airbags, be sure to remember a few things.

o Drivers should allow at least 10 inches between their breastbone and center of the steering wheel.
o Always wear a seatbelt. Not doing so can result in severe injury if the airbag hits you at the wrong angle.
o Children 12 and under should always ride in a rear seat with age appropriate restraints or car seats.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

5 Tips For Improving The Gas Efficiency Of Your Car

There are many ways to people to make small changes that add up to significant savings. When it comes to the fuel efficiency of your car, there are five simple ways that you can begin to save money before you have to gas up.

Provide routine maintenance for your car.

This will include taking your car in, as needed, for oil changes, air filter replacement and to have the tires balanced or rotated. Using the appropriate grade of motor oil for your car will give you a one or two percent improvement in your fuel efficiency. Some other things involved in routine maintenance should include the spark plugs and timing, belt changes and any other tune-ups suggested by your mechanic or the user manual that was provided with your car when it was purchased.

You should also check to keep your tires inflated appropriately. According to US Dept. of Labor, you will be able to increase your gas efficiency about 3% when you have the tires correctly inflated. There is a sticker inside the front driver's door or inside the glove box for your reference.

Clean extra items out of your car.

The extra luggage, toys, books and other items rolling around in the car may add up to higher gas prices. The extra weight in your automobile will mean that the car must work harder to obtain driving speeds. This is mostly true if you are running errands and find yourself starting and stopping often. Cleaning your car out regularly can make it lighter and will make it more gas efficient.

(If you are doing errands, you can also roll down your windows instead of using your air conditioning to save gas. This situation reverses when you are on the freeway, then keeping your windows closed will reduce your wind resistance and improve your efficiency.)

Modify your driving habits and attitude.

The habits and attitudes taught in defensive driving classes don't just keep you out of trouble on the road, but can also save you money at the pump. The engines in automobiles weren't designed to run efficiently with rapid and repeated braking and acceleration. That type of treatment may wreak havoc in your engine in addition to drawing more gas from your fuel tank. Using the cruise control when traveling long distances, slowing down over longer distances, and increasing your speed gently are all ways to improve your fuel efficiency.

Stop idling for more than 30 seconds.

Engine idling can be a very expensive habit. There are many places where you may be spending time in an idling car without thinking much about it. Consider these situations:

  • The fast food drive-through
  • Pulled over while talking on the phone
  • The bank drive-through
  • Heating up your car on a cold morning
  • Picking up and dropping off passengers during carpool
  • Leaving the car running during errands
  • If you are leaving your car running during these situations, or others, then you are spending money on gas, without actually getting anywhere.

Plan your errands together for one trip.

You can save money when you start your car with a warm engine as opposed to starting it with a cold engine. If you are able to organize your shopping trips and errands into one direct course, you'll be able to save yourself time, decrease the number of trips you must take and reduce the amount of gas you use when you start up your vehicle.

Following these tips can really help you to add up your savings.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

10 Emergency Items to Keep in Your Vehicle

The majority of us spend a significant amount of time in our vehicles, therefore it is prudent to keep certain items safely stored away in case of an unexpected emergency. Here are several suggestions for items you should keep as part of an "emergency kit".

1. Flashlight with spare batteries

If you break down or get a flat tire at night, a flashlight is an indispensable item. Without one, checking engine components or changing a flat can be a very difficult and frustrating undertaking. In addition, be sure to always keep a number of spare batteries for the flashlight - you don't want it dying when it is needed most.

2. First Aid Kit

Injuries, whether major or minor, can never be foreseen, and you never know what might happen while you're out on the road. Be prepared for anything from scraped knuckles to small cuts or a bee sting. Basic emergency first aid kits are available at most department stores and pharmacies, and should contain most everything you may need to treat an injury.

3. Bottled Water

In your travels, you may find yourself broke down or stranded in a less than desirable location. Having water available ensures you can keep yourself and your family members hydrated.

4. Glass Scraper

If your area normally sees snow or ice during the winter months, an ice scraper for your windows and windshield is essential. Even in these fall months leading up to winter, it is best to be prepared now rather than unprepared when you actually need it. Be sure to keep a scraper handy, you never know when you might awake to find your vehicle covered in ice or frost.

5. Jumper Cables

At one point or another, most of us have had the misfortune of a dead battery, and find that we didn't have battery jumper cables in our vehicle. Hearing that empty click when you turn the key can be a real downer, but if you happen to have a set of cables you can quickly get a jump off another considerate motorist. Having these cables in your vehicle also enables you to help someone else out in a similar situation.

6. Hand Warmers

These very small yet useful items can be easily fit into your first aid kit or glove compartment. For those of you who have changed a tire in extremely cold weather, you'll understand why we recommend these as a must-have. If you haven't - take our advice and pick up a pair! Working around your vehicle in the biting cold without hand warmers can be an extremely uncomfortable experience.

7. Duct Tape

As the saying goes, "Duct tape can fix anything". While that may not be entirely true, having a role of duct tape handy is always a good idea, providing a quick, temporary fix to an unforeseen problem.

8. Hazard Triangles or Flares

These items are for the safety of both yourself and oncoming motorists. If you break down on the side of the road, placing hazard triangles or flares behind your vehicle will alert other drivers that there is a vehicle in distress up ahead. Without these items, other drivers may not see you in inclement weather, resulting in a near-miss or even a collision. Place these items at 50, 75, and 100 feet to the rear of your vehicle, and on the side of your vehicle facing traffic.

9. Tow Rope

Ensure the rope you buy is capable of towing your vehicle's gross weight (see the owner's manual to determine this figure). Keep in mind this rope is not for extended trips and regular towing, but only to get out of harm's way.

10. Small Shovel

Many of us at some point have found ourselves stuck in some type of mud or snow. Having a small shovel handy will allow you to dig out around your tires if needed. Also, you can use the shovel to pack material in front of your tires for better traction when trying to free your vehicle.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Most Common Reasons For Transmission Repair

Do you need transmission repair? If your car is not moving forward smoothly, is jolting you around or seems to be less inclined to switch gears easily, it may be time for you to bring it in for repairs. The good news is that if you get help right away, you are unlikely to need significant changes or replacement. However, the key is to get your car in as soon as you start to notice concerns with the way the vehicle is moving. As just one component of the vehicle's engine, it needs attention less frequently than the brakes, oil and filters. Yet, it remains an important part of it nonetheless.

Poor Oil

One of the main reasons transmission repair is necessary is due to the oil contents circulating in the engine. Oil is a lubricant. It flows through various components of the working engine to ensure that metal does not grind against metal. If this were to happen, it would cause significant damage to the working parts of the system. It also works as a coolant. By keeping the engine's main parts cool, it allows the system to keep working without overheating. It also works as a tool for removing debris from the engine.

As you use oil, it picks up debris and thickens. The more it passes through the system, the thicker it becomes. This leads to problems because old oil is not able to work as effectively. As a result, the tranny can become clogged with material and may stop working properly. To prevent these types of repairs, be sure to change the oil in the vehicle as directed by the vehicle's manufacturer.

Damage Is Possible

It is possible that actual damage has occurred on the system. If the tranny is damaged in any way, this will reduce its function. It will also likely lead to replacement unless just a small portion of the system needs repair.

Fluid Cleansing

Most manufacturers recommend monitoring, adding and even replacing the tranny fluid at about 30,000 miles. This fluid is not oil, though it works for many of the same reasons. By flushing out the old and putting in new fluid, you reduce the risk that your system will stop working. This can also increase efficiency and create more of the smooth drive you are looking for when operating your car.

Ultimately, you should keep an eye on your transmission as a main component to the engine and vehicle. When transmission repair is needed, do not put it off. Doing so can affect the functionality and comfort of the vehicle's driving ability. It also can affect the overall value of the vehicle in the long-term. It is far less expensive to make repairs than to replace the system too soon.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Make Your Car Like New Again With Expert Service From Your Local Auto Body Repair Shop

Cars can suffer damage due to all kinds of situations, from collisions to plain old wear and tear. Fortunately, auto body shops can address almost any car body or frame issue you bring in and can help you get your car back in perfect condition.

No matter how the damage to your car originated, a damaged vehicle looks unattractive and can send the wrong message to the world about the people who own and drive it. Leaving repairs undone can also lead to further, more dangerous, and costlier damage, and can be a safety hazard to drivers and passengers alike. This is why it's so important to contact an auto body repairer as soon as there's a problem. Experts in car body paint and structural repairs will be able to evaluate what needs to be done and take care of your car or truck with an eye to timeliness and workmanship so that you can get your car back in top shape as soon as possible.

Whether you were in a collision on the road, or another person nicked your car's paint job while you were parked, chipped auto paint can be a real pain. First of all, it affects the overall look of your car in a hugely negative way. And secondly, if left untreated, it can lead to more extensive chipping and, eventually, to rust that can deteriorate the whole body of the car. There are products on the market that let you deal with automotive paint issues on your own, but getting an exact match to your car's original color and quality of paintwork is nearly impossible. If you go the DIY route and the color match is even slightly off, your car will end up looking worse than it did before! Avoid these pitfalls by contacting a car paint specialist as soon as you know that there's a problem. These professionals have the knowledge, tools, and experience to tackle whatever car painting project you need so that you can get your car back to looking its best, and you can drive secure in the knowledge that you've forestalled any further damage.

If you're dealing with something more serious than a paintwork issue, getting professional help is a must. Not only are there aesthetic matters to consider, but there are a number of safety issues in question when it comes to repairing the actual structure of a car. If you're dealing with dents, the cosmetic aspect is probably the most important. It's unpleasant and distracting to drive around in a dented vehicle, but a body repair expert can take care of everything from a small ding from a golf ball to a huge dent from a collision, all without causing further damage to the car or the paintwork. These professionals can also handle more intense issues such as frame repair and straightening. After a car has been in a collision, the car frame is often damaged or misaligned. In the worst cases, this can make the car undrivable, and in all cases, it can compromise the overall safety of your vehicle. Using specialized machinery, repair experts can realign your car's frame so that your car works properly and complies with necessary safety standards.

If your car is damaged, don't wait--call your local auto body and repair shop today. Whether you need a minimal touch-up to your paint, or major repairs after a collision, professional body shops will be able to ensure that your car looks great and is protected as much as possible against future damage.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Maintaining Your Car's Air Conditioner

There has been record-breaking heat this summer and that means your car's air conditioner has been working extra hard to keep you and your passengers cool. It is no surprise that most people say they like to keep their air conditioner "arctic cold." And really, who doesn't? But if your A/C isn't blowing as cool as it once did, there may be a problem lurking under the hood.

There are three common issues car owners have with their air conditioner that could contribute to a lackluster breeze:

There is a refrigerant leak
There is an electrical problem
The refrigerant level is incorrect
When there is a refrigerant leak in your vehicle, the air blowing through the vents does not get cooled to the temperature you set from inside your car. This can make air that is supposed to be cold, blow out at room temperature. It is important to fix the leak as soon as it is identified because air and moisture that enters the air conditioner can ultimately damage the compressor, the pump that compresses and transfers refrigerant gas.

If your car has an electrical problem, this means the fan, or blower motor, has stopped working. As a result, air no longer blows through your vents properly. Dust or debris could be the culprit behind the malfunction, though it could also be the result of a blockage or even a faulty electrical connection. Removing an obvious blockage may solve the problem, but if it is an electrical connection, the problem might be more serious.

A third common A/C issue is incorrect refrigerant level-either too much or too little will cause your car's air conditioner not to work properly. The telltale signs are there is too much noise coming from the A/C compressor or the air conditioner is cycling on and off too frequently.

Irregular maintenance of your vehicle contributes to each of these problems. Just like your home's heating and cooling system, your car's A/C should be checked at the beginning of each season. Checking in the winter is just as important as in the summer, when you are more likely to be using cool air.

So, if your temperature is not cold enough, you hear too much noise coming from the A/C compressor, or if the A/C is not cycling on and off properly, it may be time for a new compressor.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Child Passenger Safety Tips

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests the following:

Do List:

• Do make sure to restrain your child appropriately for his or her age and size (see below for more).

• Do follow directions that come with the car seat. Also pay close attention to your vehicle owner's manual for any further directions.

• Watch for local law enforcement events that help you check for proper installation and use.

Don't List:

• Don't allow any child under the age of 13 years to sit in the front seat.

• Don't allow a child under age 13 to sit in front of an active airbag, especially rear-facing infants.

Birth - 12 Months

• All infants under age 1 should ride rear-facing.

• Infant-only seats typically must be used in the rear-facing position. Most convertible seats and 3-in-1 seats can be used rear-facing and usually have higher weight and height limits.

1 - 3 Years

• Children ages 1-3 years should ride rear-facing as long as possible, within the weight and height limits of the seat.

• Once your child outgrows his or her rear-facing seat, a forward-facing car seat with a harness should be used.

4-7 Years

• Children ages 4-7 years should remain in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the weight and height limits of the seat.

• Once your child outgrows his or her forward-facing seat with a harness, a belt-positioning booster seat should be used in conjunction with the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt.

8-12 Years

• Your child should continue using a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly

• The shoulder strap should fit snugly over the shoulder and across the chest. Make sure it's never across the neck, face, or arm.

• The lap belt should fit low and tight on your child's hips, not over his or her stomach.

For more information regarding your state laws you should check with your State Highway Patrol and/or Department of Revenue. These officials can answer all of your questions regarding regulations.

The most important first step is researching the different models of child safety seats. Make sure the one you choose is not on the recall list and watch for those recalls regularly. An exchange will be in order should a safety seat be recalled.

We all want our children to be comfortable but we can accomplish that at the same time as transporting them as safely as we possibly can.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall Car Care Check Up: What to Inspect

Fall is the perfect time to give your car a good look over, as summer is past and winter is soon to follow. Summer and winter are the toughest seasons on any car as extreme temperature variations can test your car. Cooler fall weather means you're in the mood to work on your car any way, something you'll want to accomplish before the first cold snap hits and winter settles in and your car is tested once again.
Let's take a look at some "must do" checks as you inspect your car this fall.
1. Tires. When was the last time your rotated your tires? As a matter of fact, when was the last time you checked them for wear and tear? If your tires are showing signs of wear, they may need replacing or at least a full rotation. Rotate your tires and adjust the air pressure to the required level.
2. Battery. Car batteries can last for as little as two or three years, or for five years or longer. Much depends on the condition of your battery, its quality and how often you drive. Check the battery connections, removing gunk build up on the terminals and securing the cables back in place. If the battery is old or low on charge, replace it before winter.
3. Fluids. If you haven't had an oil change in six months or 5,000 miles get it done now. Replace the oil and oil filter, and check other fluids including power steering, brake and transmissions fluids. Top off the washer solvent and inspect your coolant system.
4. Belts and hoses. Following a hot summer, your car's belts and hoses may be frayed or worn. Check for signs of wear and replace immediately. Cracks can soon turn into breaks, leaving you stranded if a belt gives way or a hose splits.
5. Wipers. Heat can damage wipers and your wipers should be replaced twice annually -- in spring and again in the fall. Streaking wipers or a clouded windshield are signs that your wipers need to be replaced.
6. HVAC. You ran the air-conditioner all summer and will soon be running the heater all winter. Replace the a/c filter and if heating or cooling is not adequate, it may be time for a freon replacement or heating coil change.
7. Suspension. Wear and tear on your car's suspension system can result in a rough ride. Shocks, struts and various chassis parts such as your tie rods and ball joints may need to be replaced. Check your brakes too -- pads, linings and rotors wear out.
If your car hasn't had a tune up, check the owner's manual to see when one is due. Today's cars can go much further between tune ups, but an air filter may need to be replaced or your emissions system checked.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ensure the Longevity of Your Car

Investing in a car entails a lot of money. You have to set aside funds for the purchase of the unit. There should also be separate funds for registration, insurance, gas, maintenance and occasional repairs. It is important to take care of your vehicle or else, the hard-earned cash will simply go to waste. Keep your car on the road longer by following these suggestions:

• The break-in phase is your first concern. Your driving speed should not be more than 55 miles per hour during the first 1,000 miles. Check your car owner's manual or confirm with the manufacturer. Make use of light to medium increase of velocity. Ideally, the engine's revolution-per-minutes should be under 3,000 during the initial hours of driving. The vehicle must not be immobile for a long time since oil may not be dispersed to all engine parts.

• Pay attention to the engine's lubrication. Oil and the oil filter have to be changed regularly. The blocked filter means that the engine is performing poorly. If you want to get an accurate reading of your engine oil, drive the car around for 15 minutes and park on a flat surface. Stop the engine and let the oil go back to the pan. Pull the measuring rod and wipe with a clean cloth of paper towel. Put it back and remove again. The level should be somewhere near the middle of the plunger.

• Make it a point to wash your car engine annually. The clean engine makes it less difficult for you to pinpoint leakages and overhaul components. Take good care of the sensitive parts such as electrical items, distributor and air-intake system. Scrutinize the timing belt and hoses. Remove any filth that has accumulated in these hosepipes.

• The cooling mechanism of the car is as important as the condition of the engine lubricant. The breakdown of the cooling system can ruin the entire engine. It is necessary to mix water and anti-freeze. Temper the coolant using the 50-50 proportion. The water facilitates proper transfer of heat from the coolant to the car radiator. On the other hand, cooling chemical serves as a safeguard against freezing and rust. The anti-freeze concentration should be checked every week to makes sure that it is not too low or overflow.

• Check the tires and make sure that the inflation pressure is correct. Tires that are not properly filled with air produce excess heat and strain that will lead to fast breakdown. Inspect your tires at least once every month but at more frequent intervals during the hot summer months.

• Examine the tires for irregular wear and tear. Imbalanced deterioration calls for immediate wheel repositioning. This can also be caused by defective brakes, worn-out bearings and internal damages. Rotate your tires after 6,000 to 7,500 miles of driving. Refer to your manual or dealer for the exact configuration of rotation. Incidentally, the normal requirement for replacement of tires is when it is down to 1.5 millimetres of tire deepness. These are basic tire safety issues that motorists must always be aware of.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Is Car Polish Really Necessary?

While many people understand the simple concept that their car should be cleaned quite often in order to keep it maintained, the one question most have is deciding whether or not car polish is necessary. Along with this, what items are needed and which are simply a waste of money? For the most part, there are a variety of necessary items needed for the cleaning process. Keep reading to find out which items will help your vehicle.

Needed Items

One of the main items a person should go and pick up is polish. Despite what many may tell you, polish is a best kept secret of many car fanatics that is used to make any vehicle look brand new. Although washing is essential, polish can help your vehicle's paint in all the areas that washing has missed. Polish can similarly be compared to a face wash. It can remove car wax, oxidation, and other contaminants. Your car's paint will also drastically stand out after a polish as blemishes are removed. This is always done before a waxing job.

As car waxing goes, this is a main process used to help your vehicle's paint job. Along with extending its life, it also helps it to look nice and shine. A great wax will help your car to be protected from the sun's harmful UV rays, moisture, and pollution. Sadly, many people opt out of waxing their vehicles and then their vehicle ends up rusting and fading very quickly.

Another great item to use is a car mitt. Air drying a car is never the answer because it can leave water spots which can be hard to get rid of. Driving around to dry off a car is also a bad choice. All this will do is get the car dirty again. Instead of these things, a car mitt should be used for drying. Done right, this can be used in conjunction with other things to keep your car looking like new.

Typically when people clean their cars, they forget to use a vacuum because they are so focused on the exterior of the vehicle. The interior of the vehicle is just as important. Even if the outside looks fantastic, if the inside is dirty, your car can still suffer. Stains, spills, and trash can all contribute to the interior wearing down significantly faster than if it was clean. Use a vacuum to help keep the interior smelling fresh and clean.

Go Out and Clean

Now that you've learned that car polish is absolutely necessary within the car cleaning process, it's time to go pick some up along with the other items listed above and start cleaning! A clean car will help to prolong its life and you'll enjoy driving it a lot more.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Best Car Care Products Out There

As far as car care products go, you would be simply amazed at what a few will do to help keep your vehicle in proper shape. Caring for your car is essential to maintaining a sharp look, keeping the value up, and helping to prevent any damage from occurring. No matter if you're simply a novice or a person who has owned tons of different cars over the years, you definitely need to check out some of these products to keep your car looking as best as possible!

Washing Your Car

Washing is one of the most important steps to take care of your car properly. For the best care, be sure to wash your car on a weekly basis. Washing is essential to preserve the condition and value for your vehicle. To get starting on this washing process, be sure to pick up a wash mitt, a brush for the wheels, a bucket, drying towels, and a specific type of soap that will work with your vehicle. Soap is the most essential product that needs to be carefully researched because you will need something that is safe for your vehicle's paint but will also help to protect the finish.

Interior Vehicle Care

Taking fantastic care of the inside of your vehicle will ensure that both you and your passengers have a nice comfortable drive. Unfortunately, without the proper care, anyone's vehicle can become extremely dirty within a matter of only a few days. The first thing needed for the interior of your vehicle is a decent vacuum. This will help to ensure that all upholstery plus the carpeting gets cleaned properly. After this, you will need to use a nice carpet cleaner. Between spills and stains, most peoples' carpeting within their vehicle is extremely dirty. Carpet cleaner is safe and is the most effective way to clean.

As far as the seating goes, these should always be clean for both you and any potential guests. Things like rips and stains can easily occur, so it is best to keep seats clean as much as possible. Besides a vacuum, you will need to pick up specific seat cleaner that works with your upholstery. This is very important. You do not want to pick up a leather seat cleaner if you don't have leather in your car. Along with this, be sure to cover the seats if you simply are not happy with the sight of them. These can help to improve the look of the car if it has any unsightly rips or stains.

Time to Clean

Now that you know some of the steps to take and a few of the best car care products to use, it's time to start cleaning your vehicle. Maintaining your vehicle will not only help it to look much better but will significantly improve the value.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Does Your Car Need an Air Conditioning Tune-Up?

Can you imagine going on a long drive in the middle of a hot summer day without your air conditioning system properly working? What if you were on the way to an important meeting or interview and the AC went out? Nobody wants to spend a miserable car ride sweating or getting blown around by open windows. Avoid having your car's air conditioning fail by performing preventative maintenance at the first sign of trouble.

Signs you may have a problem

Your car will typically display warning signs before your air conditioning goes out, but these signs are typically only seen when you pop the hood. Here are several things to watch out for:

• Your car AC is blowing hot or warm air instead of cold.

• You have a disconnected or damaged drive belt.

• There are damages on the refrigerant hoses.

• There is oil on some of the AC components. This is a sign that you are experiencing refrigerant loss.

• The compressor shows signs of failure such as a paint damage, rust, or off-center drive hub.

• The drive belt seems to be squealing or slipping while the A/C controls are on maximum.

• The air conditioning system does not seem to stay on steadily for a long time, and may show on and off cycles every few minutes.

• The condenser fan seems to work with varying and unstable speed and volume.

• Since 2000, most vehicles have a cabin air filter (sometimes known as Pollen Filter). It should be replaced once a year, after all it filters the air you breathe inside your vehicle.

These are all indications that there may be a problem with some of your car's air conditioning components. Because your mechanic is typically going to notice these signs before you do, it is important to take your car in for regularly scheduled maintenance.

The Tune-Up

It's recommended that you have your car's air conditioning system checked once a year, preferably before you will need to use the AC. Prevention is definitely the best way to go, but you can also drop by your neighborhood mechanic at any time if you notice something going wrong.

When you take your car in for your annual air conditioning check, your mechanic will perform a system check and inspection. He or she will thoroughly examine the components for leaks, cracks, damages, and temperature readings. Most car service centers and mechanics can conduct such inspections quickly and then give you a full report, including an estimate. This way, you'll have some idea of what, if any, repairs or replacements will be necessary to keep you cool all summer long!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Tell If Your Shocks Need to Be Replaced - Checklist

Some car parts like spark plugs and filters have a standard maintenance schedule for when they need to be replaced. Other car parts like shocks don't have a schedule so you need to check them frequently to ensure top performance in your car and prevent unwanted wear on other car components. Shock wear mostly depends on road and terrain quality. If you drive on roads with a lot of potholes or terrain that is uneven you will need to replace your shocks sooner. It is true that many new cars start showing aging on shocks after only 30,000 to 40,000 miles but your car may not fall into this category. Diagnosing shock health is an easy job if you know what to look for. The checklist we provide tells you everything you need to know to decide whether it's time for new shocks. Be weary though, shocks age slowly over time so problems can go unaddressed if you do not check frequently. Mechanics look for three things to decide whether shocks need to be replaced. Are they leaking? Are they damaged? Are they worn out?

You can tell if your shocks are leaking if:
• There is wetness or oil on the outside of the shock.

You can tell if your shocks are damaged if:
• There is physical damage on the shock like a dent in the housing or a broken mount.

You can tell if you shocks are worn if:
• When driving your car bounces too much when you hit bumps or potholes
• When you break the nose of the car dips
• When driving in crosswinds your car sways or rolls excessively
• When you haul extra passengers or weight the suspension bottoms out.
• You do not pass the bounce test
• In the bounce test you make the car bounce or sway by applying force to the body of the vehicle. After you stop the car should only bounce one or two times before going to rest. If it bounces more than that your shocks are worn and they should be replaced.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

A Clean Engine Is a Happy Engine!

We all know that regular oil and filter changes are extremely important to the life of our automobiles, but do you know the main reason why?

Motor oil is designed to lubricate the moving parts inside the engine, but it is also designed to help with keeping the engine cool from all the friction caused from the engine's internal parts moving around at high rates of speed.

When your car's engine runs it burns gasoline and when gasoline burns, the by-product is carbon residue. We've all seen burned carbon left over after a barbeque or, on the backs of our fireplaces. The carbon that's left behind from burned fuel mixes with the engine oil which is why engine oil turns from the clean golden color when you pour it from the bottle to your engine, to black when you drain it out.

We've all been taught that we want to change our oil on a regular basis because it gets dirty.

The thing to know is that carbon is carbon whether it is burned gasoline, carbon build up in your fireplace, or even just diamonds. The carbon that the oil filter traps is very fine just like a fine abrasive powder, just like Ajax or Comet!

It's that very fine abrasive that causes continual grinding on "all" internal engine parts. The dirtier the oil the more carbon in the oil, the more carbon, the more wear and damage is done to your car's engine plus - numerous other parts.

Here's why abrasive carbon deposits mixed with the oil causes a couple of problems:

1. It now wears on the moving parts rather than lubricates.
2. It absorbs and holds heat, causing even more wear on moving parts.

This is the reason engines have an oil filter. The oil filter is there for one reason, to filter the carbon residue out of the oil as well as it can.

Your oil filter is designed to catch as much of this carbon as it can, but it can only trap so much before it becomes full. Even a new filter will not catch every bit of carbon, as very fine particles will find their way through.

So how often should you change your motor oil?

Very simply, if you don't change it often enough, the parts inside your engine will fail!

We suggest to always follow the manufacturers recommended oil change intervals!

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Why Tires Need To Be Rotated

In today's economy, the price of automobile parts are constantly increasing in heaps and bounds, and tires are one of these products. For the economically sound car owner, replacing tires on a regular basis can be an unwanted financial pressure, whereas on the other hand, having sub-par tires is one of the most hazardous automotive health factors possible. Surprisingly however, there exists a solution to both these extremes, presented by the quick and easy method called Tire Rotation. Performed at regular intervals, tire rotation substantially increases tread life and saves money over the life span of a given set of tires.


One of the most crucial vehicle maintenance procedures is regular tire rotation. Due to the mechanics of the automobile, the front set show very different tread wear patterns, as the front of the vehicle is substantially heavier than the back due to the heavy machinery under the hood. As a result, the front set wear out much quicker than the back, and since most purchase all four as a set, the maximum life of all tires are not prolonged, leading to inefficiency and wasted dollars. In addition, by driving around with the added pressure on the wearing front tires, the passengers unwillingly place avoidable risks on their health. As a general rule of thumb, the front set should be switched with the back set after every 12,000 kilometers, or about 5,500 miles.

Different tire types

The easiest alternative to personally switching the tires is to visit a service center for a cheap, quick and reliable rotation service. However, the task of rotation is relatively simple and physically undemanding. As such, it is crucial to know the types of one's tire to achieve the best rotation results and prolonged tire life.

Multi-weather tires are usually switched depending on their alternating wear patterns. Specifically, the front two are simply removed, then switched with the back tires, and vice versa. For vehicles with front wheel drive, the rear tires are first switched between themselves, then moved forward, whilst the fronts are switched between themselves, and moved backward. With directional tires, the same method as multi-weathered tires is covered.

Additional information

Some crucial factors come into play when manually changing tires. Depending on the manufacturer, it is best to check the manufacturer's manual for ideal inflation levels, and depending on the recommendation, these levels need to be checked to ensure consistency. By doing this small but extremely important task, not only are the tires lives increased substantially, but the safety factors of the tires are kept intact as well.

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If your vehicle has been damaged in a car accident come see the experts at Corby's Collision. When you do business with us you will not only deal with our qualified and professional staff but, also with Paul himself. He is an Owner/Operator and likes to be "hands on" with everything that goes in and out of the shop.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's a Clutch Moment: Understanding the Clutch in Your Vehicle

The modern vehicle is a complex object, full to the brim with parts and pieces doing all kinds of jobs. It can get pretty intimidating up under that hood. And when the car starts to act funny, even a mechanic can have trouble explaining it. If your mechanic has diagnosed your car or truck with a clutch problem, here's a quick overview of what the clutch does, and how things may have gone wrong.

The clutch is a mechanical device in a vehicle's engine that allows for the transmission of power and motion from the engine to the wheels. It can be engaged (so the wheels receive power) or disengaged (so they don't). Different engines have different settings for the clutch, allowing for multiple gears, which vary the amount of power that the wheels receive.

Without a functioning clutch, no power reaches the wheels of the vehicle and it won't move. A malfunction can happen with the mechanism stuck in any position, or even between gears, leaving it "stuck" or "jammed."

Clutches have different designs in different kinds of vehicles, which makes it difficult to speak broadly about them. They can be structured differently to provide more or less power overall (from a racecar to a scooter, for example), and can have virtually any number of gears. The average consumer car has 4 to 6 gears, plus reverse, while it's not uncommon for 18-wheel tractors to have 10 or more, including several reverse gears.

A manual transmission, in which the driver uses the clutch pedal and his own senses to control when the gears shift, is also called "standard." In the US, automatic transmissions are common, in which a mechanical system automatically senses engine demands and sets the gears without input from the driver. Some cars feature a sort of transmission where the driver can switch between these two options.

There are a lot of moving parts in the clutch assembly, and therefore a lot of places where things can go wrong.

One of the most common causes of clutch problems is user error. Any vehicle that is driven too roughly suffers a greater amount of damage, including on the clutch assembly. A manual transmission has the added threat of inexperienced or careless drivers causing damage.

Even with careful expert driving, the clutch still experiences wear and tear. The friction material on the disks and gears will wear out eventually, causing slippage, and need replacement.

If slipping isn't the problem, it's probably sticking. Sticking can be caused by a number of factors, such as a broken or stretched clutch cable, air in the hydraulic system, misaligned linkage, leaks or defects in the clutch cylinders, or mismatched clutch components.

An automatic transmission depends on a sensor system and hydraulics to shift gears, and a failure in any of these parts can cause an overall failure in the system.

If you drive an automatic, you probably never think about the clutch in your transmission. And if you drive a manual, you're so used to clutching and shifting that you don't think about it either. But there's a lot of mechanical pieces, and a lot that can go wrong. Don't let clutch problems grind your gears - contact your mechanic or transmission specialists to get a diagnosis and a repair estimate today!

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