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206 posts categorized "Maintenance and Repair"

October 13, 2016

Another Way to Protect Your Car's Passengers: Window Tinting

Window_tinting-iStock_47033532-RobertsGalleriesEver since I became a mother more than 20 years ago, I've recognized the value of having tinted windows. Once you start driving around with kids in the car, the importance of keeping the sun off their little faces becomes pretty much a no-brainer.

I've lived in the San Fernando Valley for 30 years now. Aside from places like Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; and Orlando, Florida; the valley ranks pretty high as a Hellhole between June and August when the summer sun blazes at its hottest. It doesn't take long for a car's interior to climb to oven-like temperatures, and when you're toting a baby around, that heat can be more than inconvenient: It can be downright dangerous, especially to small children whose little bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.

Continue reading "Another Way to Protect Your Car's Passengers: Window Tinting" »

October 11, 2016

How Often Do I Need to Change My Oil?

Woman_checking_oil-iStock_46051112-kasto80Most drivers have grown up with the traditionally advertised oil change recommendation of 3,000 miles, but if you've bought a new car within the last ten years that interval may no longer be necessary.

In fact, if you’re driving a car that’s less than five years old, you may only need to change your oil every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. Some models don't require an oil change more frequently than every 15,000 miles; synthetic oil can help your engine last longer, and may even allow car owners to go up to 20,000 miles between changes. If you're changing your oil too frequently you’re simply wasting money and oil.

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September 28, 2016

Valvoline Raises Awareness of Breast Cancer with Pink-Out Day On October 1!

Once again, Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) will be promoting its annual PINK Wiper fundraising campaign during the month of October. Support Valvoline's effort by getting your AutoTex PINK wiper blades this October at any participating Valvoline Instant Oil Change location.

AutoTex PINK donates a portion of the proceeds from each sale to National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.®; to get the promotion off to a great start, Valvoline Instant Oil Change will kick off the campaign with a Pink-Out day on Saturday, October 1st and will double donations for all purchases made that day.

Continue reading "Valvoline Raises Awareness of Breast Cancer with Pink-Out Day On October 1!" »

September 16, 2016

Cabin Air Filters, Mice, and Allergies...

Mice_in_fram_fresh_breeze_cabin_air_filterCabin air filters, mice, and allergies...What’s the connection?

Well, mice love to live in my car’s cabin air filter! I don’t happen to love the idea the idea of them in my cabin air filter though. :-) I live in a rural area about an hour north of Toronto and don’t have a garage… I also have a car that I store in the wintertime.

Last year, when I pulled my car out of storage it smelled really bad inside, and I couldn’t figure out why. So I drove with the windows open most of the time.

When I took my vehicle in for an oil change a couple of months later, my shop owner kept my cabin air filter to show me what had happened. A family of mice had been living in my cabin air filter and what I was smelling was actually mouse urine and poop. Yuck! Pretty much every time I take my car in for service there are mice in the cabin air filter. I’ve been told Irish Spring soap deters the mice but when I pulled out the bar in the spring it had tooth marks in it! The joys of living in the country...

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August 12, 2016

Consumer Survey: New Car Quality at High Standards

2__dtr___2016_terrainThe quality of new vehicles improved by 6 percent, the largest increase since 2009, according to the recent 2016 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. And the good news for consumers is that more affordable non-premium brands had fewer problems than more expensive premium brands for the first time since 2006.

"Non-premium brands are adding a lot of new technology," said Renee Stephens, vice-president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power. And it is advanced technology, such as blind-spot monitoring, low-speed collision avoidance, navigation systems, voice recognition, and touchscreens, which can and have caused problems. However, in this case, the non-premium brands are delivering the technology in a way that's intuitive to use and with quality, she said.

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May 22, 2016 is Celebrating Our 10 Year Anniversary


May 19, 2016

Sears Auto Center Wants to Keep “Women on the Move”


Car Care Tips Every Woman Driver Should Know

Here at AskPatty, we receive thousands of auto-related questions from women looking for advice from our expert panel. 

Follow Sears Auto on Facebook Follow Sears Auto on Google plus Follow Sears Auto on Instagram Follow Sears Auto on Linked in Follow Sears Auto on Twitter Follow Sears Auto on You Tube Of these, about 85% are women with questions about car care – so it's clear that this is something women want to know about!

This spring we're teaming up with Sears Auto Center to present a free Car Care Clinic to keep “Women on the Move”, so we're kicking things off with some great must-know car care tips.  If you're looking for a little Car Care 101, read on – if you want to learn even more, get to a Sears Auto Center Car Care Clinic on May 21! 

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April 21, 2016

Spring Maintenance Tips

Spring_maintenance_tipsWhen you put away the winter coats and salt bags, it’s also time to prepare your vehicle for spring, summer, and fall.

April is National Car Care Month, so now's the time to spend a little time and money on some simple maintenance jobs, and it will save you big money and hassle all year.

Check your tires: Even if your car has a tire-pressure monitor, it is a good idea to check your tire pressure once a month. Under-inflated tires, even a few pounds that won’t trigger your dashboard monitor, will cause premature wear and harm fuel economy.

Continue reading "Spring Maintenance Tips" »

February 29, 2016

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 13: You Light Up My Life


Check your headlights and taillights to ensure optimal visibility.

Have your headlights properly aimed: Mis-aimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road. Also: don't overdrive your headlights. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area. If you're not, you're creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle. Finally, be sure your taillights and brake lights are working properly: When driving in reduced visibility conditions, drivers tend to follow the tail lights of vehicles in front of them.

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


February 25, 2016

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 11: Idling Gets You Nowhere


Idling your car to warm up the engine is unnecessary.

Research from the Environmental Defense Fund shows that today's electronic engines do not need idling to warm up before being operated, and in fact, idling creates both unnecessary waste and harmful pollution. With today's modern engines, idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more fuel than stopping and restarting the engine.

Rob Maier, who runs Maier's Garage in Bridgeport, Connecticut, says, "You don't really need to idle your car, because of the efficiency of modern fuel injection, which eliminated carburetors and chokes. The only reason to let the car idle at all is to get the oil circulating, but after 30 seconds that's a done deal. My truck has 150,000 miles on it, and I just throw it into gear and go."

Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage. According to, "Idling a car in a garage, even with the door open, is dangerous and exposes the driver to carbon monoxide and other noxious gases. If the garage is attached, those fumes can also enter the house."

Temperature is rarely a reason to idle these days. If you're like us and just don't like driving in a cold car, Bob Aldrich of the California Energy Commission points out that "idling is not actually an effective way to warm up a car — it warms up faster if you just drive it." Turn on your heated seats instead!

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


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