Monthly Archives: May 2018

Tax Refund on One of Your Biggest Investments

Maintaining Present Vehicle May Be Key to Long-Term Financial Happiness. How will you spend your tax refund? Big-Screen TV? Cell Phone? Clothes? The Car Care Council has a better idea for your money: spend it on your second biggest investment, your car.

“Whether it’s an oil change, replacing brakes or new belts and hoses, that periodic repair bill is a drop in the bucket compared to monthly payments on a new car,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “The bottom line is that a properly maintained vehicle is safer, more dependable, more fuel efficient, less polluting and more valuable. The smartest way to get a solid return on investment is to keep your car through what we call the ‘Cinderella Era’. It’s that period of time after the payoff when your car is still in great shape and needs only modest repairs.”

The Car Care Council estimates that more than $68 billion in vehicle maintenance and repair is not performed every year, evidence that there is considerably more that consumers should be doing to protect their automotive investment.

“We advise our clients that if they want a 10-percent increase on their investments every year they need to cut down on their expenses,” said Terry Mulcahy, vice president of investments for R.W. Baird in Mequon, Wis. “A new automobile is for most people their second biggest investment next to a home, so a great way to save money and increase financial assets is to hang onto their current vehicle rather than buy a new one every few years. Budgeting for and doing preventative maintenance on your car is one of the best ways to cut your costs and keep your car.”

Driving on Halloween

Driving on Halloween can be frightening for motorists, especially when little “ghouls” and “goblins” – out after dark and full of excitement – forget road safety rules or wear costumes or masks that limit their vision. To help ensure safety on a night reserved for fun, the Car Care Council reminds motorists to drive slowly, be extra careful when entering or exiting driveways or alleyways, and make sure the vehicle’s brake system works properly.

The vehicle’s brake system is its most critical safety item but brakes wear out and eventually need replacement. The factors that affect wear are driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material. Symptoms of brake problems include the following:

  • The car pulls to one side during braking;
  • The brake pedal pulsates when the brakes are applied;
  • The brake pedal feels “mushy;”
  • There is a noise when stepping on the brake pedal; and
  • There is a repeated need to add brake fluid to the master cylinder.

Drivers should also check the windshield wipers and windshield fluid, as well as the vehicle’s lights for maximum performance and visibility on Halloween.

Parents and adults should remind their trick-or-treaters to get out of cars on the curb side and not the traffic side, to stop at all corners and to use crosswalks. Children should look left, right and left again before crossing, stay on sidewalks, avoid crossing through yards and wear bright, reflective and flame retardant clothing.

“We can help keep young pedestrians safe on Halloween by checking the vehicle’s safety items, reminding children of basic safety rules and taking extra precautions when driving through neighborhoods,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

Learn To Speak Auto Tech

Auto Repair Advice: Learn To Speak “Auto Tech” will show you how to speak to your automotive technician so he will understand exactly what is wrong with your car.

(NAPSI)-You may be better able to stay on the road to safety and savings the next time you need to have your car repaired if you select a quality facility and learn to speak a little “auto tech.”

When communicating with an automotive technician, AAA recommends motorists do the following:

• Before taking the vehicle to a repair facility, write down the symptoms and any performance issues so important information is not overlooked or forgotten.

• Describe the symptoms to the technician. Explain what has been seen, smelled, heard and felt while driving the vehicle. For example, does it vibrate or pull to the left? Explain under what type of driving conditions the problem takes place and how long ago it started.

• When describing symptoms, refer to the driver side and passenger side of the vehicle rather than the right or left side.

• If the vehicle has been serviced recently, bring copies of the previous repair orders rather than trying to explain what work was done.

• Ask questions if the technician uses jargon you don’t understand or if something is not thoroughly explained. Quality technicians will take the time to clearly explain the problem before offering a repair solution.

• Always read the repair order before signing it and authorizing any work. Look for specific instructions detailing the maintenance to be done, the problem to be corrected and the work to be performed. If the language is vague or unclear, ask that it be rewritten.

To help motorists get good repairs, AAA, the country’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, has more than 8,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America.