Summer Car Safety Tips

 

As a parent, your child’s safety is your number one concern. There are many things that are in your control when it comes to your child’s safety. Car safety should be at the top of safety issues.

Car safety goes beyond just making sure you have the correct car seat for your child. Car safety extends to the entire car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that even with the windows of vehicles opened two inches, the interior temperature can rise 20 degrees in just 10 short minutes. This means that on hot days, the temperature inside a vehicle puts anyone left inside at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death.

There are ways to avoid this from happening.

  1. Never leave your child in a vehicle alone. This is the one way to completely ensure that a heat related accident does not happen. Often times a parent will think they are just quickly running back inside to get a forgotten item and might get distracted by a ringing phone. Before they know it minutes have passed by and the car has heated tremendously.
  2. If the person that normally brings the child to daycare or school does not bring the child that morning have the person that is dropping the child off call the main caregiver to ensure that a child is not forgotten in the car. The most loving parent can forget that their child is in the car if it is not part of their normal routine, and a sleeping infant is even easier to not notice.
  3. Never leave you car unlocked when at home. Children are very curious and have been known to climb into cars that are not locked to play. Once the door shuts the child might accidentally lock themselves in a not be able to figure out how to unlock and open the door. It only takes ten minutes for the car to heat up and the child might not be noticed missing until it is too late.
  4. Always have a plethora of car spares such as tires, light bulbs and fuses just in case you have any road side emergencies.

These are just a few simple things you can do to ensure that your child is completely safe when it comes to a vehicle. These types of accidents and deaths are even more tragic because they could have been so easily avoided.


Pre Travel Car Maintenance Tips

 

Keeping your car properly maintained can protect your investment and prolong the life of your vehicle. There are a few items you should have in your trunk for comfort and in case of emergencies: Road flares, non-flammable gas, jumper cables, a tool kit with duct tape, screwdriver, pocket knife, and pliers, a first aid kit with bandages, gauze, scissors, and tape, a tire jack & inflated spare tire, winter items such as rock salt or sand, gloves, and a blanket, a flashlight and batteries, and energy bars, bottled water, and paper towels.

There are some maintenance things you can do on your own, but some things you should leave to professionals. Take your car every 3000-5000 miles for a tuneup and maintenance. Professionals can help you change your oil, change your fluids (brake, power steering, transmission and coolant), examine the engine for dirt and grime, check the belts, check your tires for tread wear, and check your brakes.

Thankfully, not everything has to be handled by the pros. Here are some things YOU can do to keep your car running like a dream. You should install new wiper blades when you notice yours aren’t doing the job effectively. Keep a tire pressure gauge in your glove box and make sure your tires are inflated properly. Tires that are over-or under-inflated can blow out at any time, no matter how fast or slow you are driving.

You will also save gas if your tires are properly inflated. To see at what pressure your tires should be, look inside your driver’s side door for the manufacturer’s recommendation or check the sidewall of one of your tires. Most car tires have a 28-32 PSI of air inside each tire.

Everyone should know how to check their oil. Check your oil when the ignition is off and the engine is warm/hot. First, open the hood and locate the dipstick. Usually, it has a red-tip or other bright colored handle. Pull it out and wipe off any extra oil onto a paper towel. Reinsert the dipstick and let it sit for a few seconds. Pull it back out, hold it level and look at the end that was just inside the engine.

There should be a “full” and “low” marking on the dipstick. The oil level should be between these two marks. If your oil is low, add some. If you are unsure of what type of oil to use, consult yoru owner’s manual.

If you notice a funny sound or fluids on your driveway, take your car to an automotive center as soon as possible.


Tips on How to Stop Your Car or Truck from Backfiring in Hot Weather

 

If your engine is back firing you do not necessarily have to live with it, or take it to a mechanic. There are many things you can do to have your engine run like new again. Most of these things can be done with a common set of wrenches.

The first thing you will want to do before trying any of these tricks is to buy yourself a repair manual for your specific vehicle. This will be very handy because it will tell you where everything is on your vehicle so that you can easily find it when you need to, as well as tell you how to do regular maintenance.

Now that you are ready to start trying to fix your backfiring problem, the first thing you should do is locate your distributor. There is a chance that it got bumped off place and needs to be put back to where it should be. Loosen the bolt that holds the distributor to the engine block. Once it is just loose enough for the distributor to turn a little stop. You do not need it to loose for what you are trying to do. Now put the distributor back to where it was and start your engine. Be very careful as you go back to your engine and begin to move the distributor. If you feel uncomfortable being next to the moving belts and fans, you might not want to do this. Remember safety first. Gently move the distributor in one direction until it starts to get worse. If it does not get better try to turn it in the other direction. Find the spot where it runs the best and tighten the bolt until the thing distributor is secure.

Another thing that can possibly be causing the backfire is a bad spark plug. Take out your spark plugs, one at a time so that you do not accidentally mistake one of the wires for another one and then have to search for which spark plug wire goes to which one. If one of your spark plugs is oil fouled or is slightly odd, that is probably your problem. You will probably not be able to repair the spark plug so you should just replace them if they need to be replaced.

If that does not solve your problem you might need to reset the valves. The Repair manual should tell you how to do this. And give you the specifications on the spaces and other details your car needs. Some cars even require you to drop the engine. I would recommend that you not do this, because it is extremely tricky and usually requires special equipment.


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