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 " »
I don't know about you, but I can't walk away from my car without clicking the keyfob two or three times to make sure my car is locked. However, recent news has shown that criminals using high-tech electronic devices are still able to steal personal items from locked cars. These reports are alarming, but the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) says car owners can take some steps to protect themselves against break-ins.
The keyless entry feature on newer cars is a popular advancement that lets drivers unlock their cars with the simple click of a button on a key fob using radio frequency transmission. The convenient technology also helps prevent drivers from locking their keys in the vehicle. And I love that I can just leave my keys in my purse all the time and not have to worry about looking for them when it's time to go somewhere.
Continue reading "Did You Lock Your Car? It Might Not Be Safe Enough!" »
Do you remember when you first learned to drive? You probably focused 110% of your attention on the road as you gripped the wheel at 10 and 2 with nervous, white knuckles. And, strangely enough, you probably knew the rules of the road much better then than you do now.
Why? Because your driver’s license test depended on it.
But in the passing years, you’ve likely become much more comfortable behind the wheel and you’ve probably let slide a few of the rules your driver’s ed teacher taught you way back when.
Realistically, some of those rules are a bit unnecessary, but there may be a few you’ve forgotten which would help you to be a better, safer driver. Read on to find out what they are.
Continue reading "5 Rules of the Road You Forgot from Drivers Ed" »
It’s a fact that the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is an inexpensive, super fuel-efficient subcompact five-door hatchback.
It’s a fact that in base DE trim with a manual transmission and no extras, the Mirage has an MSRP that starts at $12,995, though it can price as high as $17,920 in ES trim with a CVT transmission and additional options. (Note that these figures do not include $810 destination and delivery fees.)
It’s also a fact that based on EPA ratings the Mirage is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car currently for sale in the U.S. It’s powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 74 horsepower, and promises fuel economy of 37 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway, with 40 mpg combined.
Continue reading "The Truth About the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage " »
As a parent, this is one of the stories I most hate writing each year; I simply cannot imagine anything more painful for a family than for a beloved baby to die because somebody left their child in a hot car. And yet, 17 such deaths have already been reported in 2014.
To raise awareness of the dangers of leaving kids in hot cars, KidsandCars.org, safekids.org, NHTSA.gov, and many other child-safety advocacy groups, mark July 31 as Heat Stroke Prevention Day to educate parents and caregivers to prevent children from being left alone in a hot vehicle.
Continue reading "#HeatStrokeKills: July 31 is National Heat Stroke Prevention Day" »
It's a scary moment for any driver when you move your foot from the brake to the accelerator on an incline and the car begins to roll backwards: Nobody likes the anxiety of that panicked glance in the rearview mirror to see "just how close is that car behind me?" And wondering "How fast can I pull away on this steep hill?" isn't much fun either.
While sturdy torque converters used to keep automatic-transmission-equipped cars in place on an incline, today's newer automatic transmissions are more fuel-efficient and tend to rev lower, which means they can slip more. And so these days, we're often experiencing that anxious rollback moment, even in automatic-equipped cars.
Continue reading "How Hill-Hold or Hill-Start Assist Technology Makes Steep-Road Starts Safer for Drivers " »
Right of way for pedestrians is an important concept to understand for all drivers. Accidents involving pedestrians are most commonly caused by a motorist's failure to yield to a pedestrian.
Fortunately, pedestrian impacts and fatalities are at a 19-year low. Lots of steps have been taken in an attempt to reduce accidents overall. Volvo has even developed a technology to keep a lookout for pedestrians and other obstructions and brake for you! Another system, developed by AutoLiv will even watch for animals and pedestrians IN THE DARK!
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If you've ever driven on a poorly lit road after twilight, you know how hard it can be to see either animals or pedestrians in the dark.
Collisions with pedestrians are a major cause of death, with more than 100,000 people killed each year worldwide. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Association says that the risk for fatal pedestrian accidents is almost four times greater at night than during the day, and each year more than 4,000 pedestrians are killed at night, just in the United States.
Continue reading "Drive Safer in the Dark with Night Vision Safety Technology from AutoLiv " »
There’s much to love about this adorable little car! Called the “Jolly,” and created in the late Fifties and early Sixties off the Fiat 500 and 600, this cute little convertible was originally modified by the Italian design house Ghia to be a luxury vehicle for wealthy Europeans and for export into the United States market.
It’s widely said that the Fiat 500 of 1957 was Italy’s answer to the Volkswagen Beetle. This modified little Fiat beach buggy may have been marketed worldwide as the Jolly, but it was best known in Europe as “La Spiaggina” -- a word loosely translated as something like "beach-ette." According to the MicroCarMuseum, the name “Jolly” also means "joker" in Italian, but also transates to something light, fun, funny and pretty in other languages.
Continue reading "Get your Jollies with this Late-Fifties Fiat " »