Driving is a daily task for most of us, and staying safe on the road is important. Your car is also likely one of your largest investments, so taking care of it should just be common sense.
However, when you spend so much time in your car, it can be easy to overlook even the most basic safety and maintenance issues. These are great habits to get into so that your car will serve you well for years to come, and yet overlooking these simple tasks are some of the most common mistakes drivers make.
Continue reading "Good Practices for Today's Drivers" »
I discovered a messy puddle of oil under my car last week.
This is where I confess that -- even though I’ve spent nearly 30 years in the automotive industry -- I didn’t know what to do next.
It’s okay: You can laugh and point at the “car girl” who doesn’t know how to repair her own car. I know about these things in theory. I know how to check my oil level and tire pressure and could jump a battery or change a tire if I had to, but when it comes to real life, I rely on mechanics (and Auto Club) for the practical application of most of my car’s care.
So, when I saw the brown splashes beneath my beloved 2011 Ford Fiesta -- which has just passed its fourth birthday and has barely 45,000 miles on the odometer -- I kinda panicked. I’m a writer, not a mechanic, and I’m okay with that.
Continue reading "Dealing with an Oil Drip " »
Ask a driver how to control the air conditioning in their vehicle and it’s a safe bet you'll get an answer. Ask that same driver to identify life-saving dashboard warning signals and the chance of a clear answer drops significantly.
According to a recent survey conducted by Schrader International, a manufacturer of sensing and valve solutions, only four out of every ten drivers were unable to identify key dashboard warning icons.
Now that summer is here and our road trip vacations are underway, it is more important than ever for drivers to be familiar with their vehicle and the systems put in place to warn them of potential danger. When viewing dashboard icons -- and depending on the car you drive, you can see a lot of them -- here are a few things to keep in mind.
Continue reading "Do You Know What These Dashboard Safety Icons Mean? " »
Winter has finally waned, spring has sprung, and the passing of Memorial Day means summer road trips are just around the corner!
If you haven't already done it, now is the time to prepare your car for the summer travel season with the yearly ‘spring cleaning’ ritual.
Continue reading "Quick Car Cleaning Tips to Prep for Summer Road Trips" »
Understanding why radiator fluid is crucial to your vehicle's health.
Having some basic auto knowledge is important for everyone, not just gearheads. Knowing a thing or two about what’s under the hood and how your car functions will make you a safer, more confident driver. This article examines the brightly colored liquid that keeps your vehicle running at homeostasis: coolant.
As an online resource to learn about basic auto maintenance, along with common problems and how to fix them, the kind folks at Web2Carz are sharing the following article with AskPatty readers. Please feel free to read the original Autos 101 at Web2Carz.com.
Continue reading "Autos 101: What puts the "Cool" in Coolant?" »
Ignoring the warnings your car sends out could leave you stranded on the side of the road or with a costly repair bill. According to information released by State Farm Insurance, 77 % of the cars on the road currently need service. And ignoring a small service can lead to a more expensive fix later.
"The closer attention you pay to your vehicle, the more likely you are to detect small problems before they become bigger, more expensive problems," says Tony Molla, vice president of communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
Continue reading "Do you Understand "Auto"? How to Translate What Your Car is Telling You" »
Ugh! The snow is finally clearing off the roads and what are we finding underneath?
Ugly, dangerous potholes! Ever wonder what causes these massive craters that ruin our commutes -- and cars -- each spring?
Continue reading "It’s That Time Of Year: Are You Ready For Pothole Season?" »
Because basic maintenance can go a long way toward improving the safety and dependability of your vehicle, every April is designated as National Car Care Month to encourage owners to give their cars some extra attention.
Results of community car care events held throughout the country in 2013 show that most consumers neglect simple maintenance of their cars, with seven out of 10 vehicles failing at least one component of the vehicle inspection process.
Continue reading "Reminder: April is National Car Care Month" »
Every automobile owner should have their vehicle's resale value in mind even before they attempt to sell it. Drivers can take several proactive steps to ensure that their vehicle maintains an acceptable resale value. Let's take a look at some ways to accomplish this without breaking the bank.
Continue reading "Simple Tips to Maintain the Resale Value of Your Car " »
This month, AskPatty spent some time with Tony Molla, the Vice President of Communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence to discuss the topic of general car maintenance and helping women drivers to better know what your car needs.
Continue reading "Ladies: Do You Know What Your Car Needs? Discussing The Importance Of Following A Regular Maintenance Schedule " »