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October 20, 2016

Is It Bad For Your Car If You Drive Until You Run Out Of Fuel?

Empty_gas_tank-iStock_76575303So I did this the other day.

Well, I didn't actually run out of gas, but after sitting in rush-hour traffic for two hours, my "Miles to Empty" indicator dropped in one step from 14 miles left on the tank to alternating between zero and one mile left.

I pulled off the freeway immediately to find a gas station and along the way, watched it creep back up to three miles to empty and breathed a sigh of relief.

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October 19, 2016

October Doesn't Have to be Scary: Headlight Out


Did you know? October is Headlight Safety Month! The seasons are changing and days are growing shorter so it's especially important that we all ensure our cars are safe and visible before setting our clocks back on Sunday, November 6.

This is particularly relevant because according to statistics from the Motor Vehicle Lighting Council, limited visibility is a factor in 2.8 million accidents, 23,000 fatal crashes, and 2,300 pedestrian deaths!

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October 18, 2016

National Teen Driver Safety Week: Ford Shares Research on Teen Driving Deaths

GHSA_TeenData2016_IG1A recent report funded by a grant from the Ford Motor Company identifies a decrease in teen deaths since 2004 but still shows risks for older teen drivers. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety [IIHS], mile for mile, teens continue to have the highest crash risk of any age group on the road.

Releasing results to correspond with National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 16-22, 2016), the report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) examines ten years of crash data to identify the differences in fatal crashes between older and younger teens, as well as by gender, and provides a set of 11 policy and best practice recommendations for states to implement.

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October 17, 2016

Teen Driver Safety Week: Teens Apping While Driving

1-istock-teen_driverAlthough teens say they think using apps while driving is "dangerous," tests show that they still feel driving while apping is not "distracting."

"We were surprised to find a disconnect between the dangers associated with 'apping' while driving, while a majority see 'texting' as dangerous," says Dr. William Horrey, Ph.D., principal research scientist at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Research Institute for Safety. Horrey notes that app interaction is like texting; it requires both visual and mental attention as well as physical manipulation.

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October Doesn't Have to be Scary: The Check Engine Light


One of the most vital components to a properly functioning vehicle is the 'Check Engine' light. It alerts the driver to a variety of potential problems based on the vehicle's onboard diagnostic system, and can seem like one of the most mysterious lights on your dashboard.

When the 'Check Engine' light comes on, it means that some system in your vehicle, including ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating at peak performance, even if your vehicle appears to you to be running normally. The warning light generally indicates that the engine management computer has detected a malfunctioning fuel, emissions component, or a system failure.

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October 14, 2016

October Doesn't Have to be Scary: The TPMS Light


Do you know what this dashboard light means? It is your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) telling you that one (or more) of your tires is dangerously under-inflated.

If you see the light, don't be scared! But you should make an immediate effort to check the pressure in all four tires manually using a tire pressure gauge, or swing by a local tire shop and ask them to check it for you. Many shops, including Firestone Tire and Auto, will perform this service for you and inflate them to their correct pressure as a courtesy.

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October 13, 2016

Sunshine Visits AutoSkinz for Protective Window Tinting

Autoskinz_logoAfter a discussion early this summer with 3M about the value of protective automotive window films, I decided it was a good time to get the windows tinted on my Ford Fiesta, Sunshine, so the 3M representative scheduled an appointment for me to visit AutoSkinz in Santa Clarita.

Upon my arrival, I was met by Shonna Wilkinson, who owns and runs the business alongside her husband, Greg. The pair has been in the business together since 2014 -- and it truly is a family business, because their nine-year-old son Cody spends a lot of time there too! He's so familiar with the business that he sometimes even mans (boys?) the front desk to greet customers!

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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.

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October 12, 2016

Inaugural 2016 Rebelle Rally Launches Thursday, October 13th in Lake Tahoe

Rebelle_Rally_logoOn Thursday, October 13th, the inaugural Rebelle Rally presented by Hoehn Adventures will launch on the shores of iconic Lake Tahoe. More than 75 women from 19 states and four countries will become the first competitors to take part in the women’s 10-day off-road navigation rally raid. And our very own Jody DeVere will also be attending the event as media on behalf of AskPatty!

If you’ve ever seen our annual coverage of the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, then you're already familiar with this type of racing event. The Rebelle Rally is not a race for speed but an event based on traditional compass, map, and roadbook navigation. GPS devices and cell phones will be sealed and prohibited from team use until the event concludes as navigators and drivers traverse the stunning Nevada and California terrain in stock four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. The route covers primarily land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and takes place on legal dirt roads, trails, and OHV areas. The participants will also travel through two National Parks.

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October Doesn't Have to be Scary: Getting a Flat Tire


A recent survey found that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of drivers on the road today have experienced a flat tire, and the majority of Americans (68 percent) indicated that changing a tire on the side of a busy road is the biggest safety hazard of a flat tire.

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