Car Car Tips & Other News

Seasonal Lighting Displays Brighten Parks Across the Country

Global Wonderland, Sacramento

Mickey Mouse no longer has a corner on the market for holiday lighting extravaganzas.

Holiday fairs are lighting up across the US and Canada, giving families a bright way to share the holiday spirit. The themes range from traditional Christmas to elaborate fairs.

“We’ve’ created a theme park that lasts for one-and-a-half months and then disappears into pixie dust,” said Erich Rigling, creative designer for Global Winter Wonderland in Sacramento.  “Each of the structures were individually built on site by 60 artisans from China.”

Interior Detailing Helps Maintain Vehicle Value

Have you ever admired a car from a distance, only to find a soiled and disheveled interior upon closer inspection?

Basic cleaning is easy to overlook. Yet, regular maintenance makes for a healthy cabin and can improve the value your vehicle.

So says Jim Dvorak of Mothers, a polish and wax company based in Southern California.

Prevent Road Trip Delays with Routine Vehicle Check-Up

Gifts have been loaded into the car, the kids are dressed and you’re ready to drive out of town for Christmas dinner with family. A handful of miles into your journey the brake pedal vibrates with every touch.

“Issues that were minor during the summer can become major concerns when winter arrives,” said Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  “Conducting a thorough check up before winter arrives can help you avoid being stranded”

Toyota Unveils Prius Special Edition 2015 Model

2015 Toyota Prius

The 2015 Toyota Prius celebrates the vehicle’s 14th year with a special edition model and an ever-increasing fuel efficiency — drivers can expect 50 mpg out of their Prius vehicles.

Two colors are available for the special edition Prius, absolutely red and blizzard pearl, and it features unique interior accents centered on black SofTex seats.

Programs Aim to Keep Teens Focused on the Road

Training young drivers to avoid distractions may be the best way to protect them when you are not along for the ride, according to safety experts.

“Teens have the highest crash risk of any age group, and research confirms that distraction is often a factor,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. “Eliminating distraction caused by electronic devices and passengers, two of the main culprits for novice drivers, is essential.”

Swapping Tires: When Do Winter Treads Make Sense?

Most vehicles are outfitted with all-season tires designed for mild winter conditions--rain and median temperatures above freezing. What if you live in a cold climate prone to snow or travel frequently on icy mountainous roads?

Consider swapping out your vehicle’s all-season treads for winter tires.

Wet Weather Brings Opportunity to Teach Teen Driving Safety

Help teen drivers by reviewing safey tips for the wet weather

Seasoned drivers bring two of the most important safety elements to vehicles--confidence and experience.

So how do you pass those traits along to young drivers in your family?

“Parents should use the changing weather conditions as an opportunity to go for a ride with their teen, to review and practice skills they’ll need to stay safe on the road,” said Kathy Bernstein, senior manager of teen driving initiatives for the National Safety Council, a non-profit advocacy group.

Protect your vehicle's finish with a pre-winter wax, polish

Waxing can prevent damage from bad weather

Waxing isn’t just for muscle cars on display at auto shows. Laying down a protective layer over clean paint helps your vehicle weather the snow, rain and salty roads of winter.

“Winter always has the harshest elements on the paint itself,” said Mike Pennington, a product expert for Meguiar’s, a company specializing in car care products. “A thorough washing and waxing before winter is crucial for the preservation of your vehicle’s exterior. It’s not just a job for summer.”

The Big Chill: Heating Problems May Indicate More Serious Issues

Your family doesn’t need to wear parkas to stay warm in your vehicle this winter. The climate control system may simply need some minor adjustments before traveling for the upcoming holidays.

“There’s any number of reasons why a heater or defroster isn’t working. Sometimes they are simple fixes, other times they are indicative of larger problems,” said Steve Schaeber, manager of service training for the Mobile Air Conditioning Society.

Repair Chips Before Cold Weather Causes Windshield to Crack

Prevent small chip from becoming a larger crack

A damaged windshield is more than just an eyesore. A small chip can become a sprawling crack that limits your visibility and lead to an expensive windshield replacement.

“Windshields are crucial for safety,” said Debra Levy, president of the Auto Glass Safety Council. “They are as important a safety feature as your brakes.”