Car Car Tips & Other News

Safety tips for drivers navigating back-to-school traffic

School zones present special challenges for drivers of all ages, especially during the first few weeks of September. “We want parents to make safety a top priority for their teens as they head back to school this fall,” said Ashley Sharaky, spokesperson for California’s Office of Traffic Safety. “Of course, these reminders apply not only to back-to-school season, but throughout the school year.” The same rules that help adults get to work on time should be learned by younger drivers, Sharaky said.

Annual campaign promotes car seat safety for the littlest passengers

Be sure to read warning labels on child seats

Child passenger safety takes center stage in September with National Child Safety Week, an annual reminder for parents on ways to help prevent injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency sponsoring the event, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.

Post-summer inspection helps prevent autumn breakdown

Those summer day trips, vacations and weekend events take a toll on your vehicle, and maintenance issues may go unnoticed until the first cool days of autumn.

“The biggest problems come from people putting off routine maintenance,” said Tony Molla of ASE, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, a nonprofit certification agency for auto technicians. “Just like you routinely go to the dentist, your vehicle needs preventative care, too.”

2014 Camry ranks at top for sedan performance, value

2014 Toyota Camry

The 2014 Toyota Camry is one of the best-selling cars in the United States with one being sold every 60 seconds – and the 2014 model’s combination of drivability, fuel economy and power are key components to that success.

Toyota engineers equipped the 2014 Camry with two standard engine choices. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. When mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, it gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

Unique air truck provides life-saving support for firefighters

One of the most useful vehicles owned by fire departments nationwide doesn’t pump a gallon of water. Instead, the truck provides clean, breathable air to firefighters, an important commodity to someone charging into a searing building billowing with smoke.

“Firefighting is inherently dangerous and having a reliable supply of clean air allows us to perform in extremely hostile conditions,” said Capt. Ken Kuykendall of the Folsom Fire Department in California’s Central Valley.

Get a handle on dirty jobs with latest specialty brushes

Brushes wisk away dirt without scratching the surface

A towel and elbow grease aren't always the best choices for shining your vehicle.

Sometimes a brush is the right answer.   

“Brushes are great when you need to gently agitate while letting particulates get washed away,” said Jim Dvorak of Mothers, a polish company based in Southern California.

Drivers turn to dash cams for video evidence during accidents

Dash cams become eye witness to driving incidents

Cameras similar to those worn by thrillseekers are finding their way to the dashboards of safety-conscious drivers.

“Dash cameras are helpful in hit-and-run collisions – or other situations where you’d want to get someone’s license plate,” said Johan-Till Broer of Garman, a Kansas-based electronics company that started making dash cameras this year.

Are your tires ready for the rainy weather?

The season's first rain creates slippery driving conditions. Oil accumulated from the dry summer months mixed with fresh rain produces a slick surface challenging to any driver.

Are your tires up to the challenge of keeping your car handling safely? Should old tires be replaced?

Not necessarily, according to Dan Zielinski of the Rubber Manufacturer's Association. The problems are wear and damage not age. Fall is the perfect time to inspect your vehicle's tires before the changing road conditions.

Family hiking: Letting dog be your guide

One North Carolina native believes she has found a way to unlock the beauty and wonders of nature to America’s internet-crazed youth.

For Ellen Eastwood the answer lies in four paws and a discriminating nose. Her guidebook, “The Trail Hound’s Handbook, Your Family Guide To Hiking With Dogs,” teaches kids how to have fun in the wilderness with man’s best friend.

Don't let minor dents, scrapes ruin the value of your car

A relaxing summer day can turn sour in a hurry when you return to your vehicle and notice some new imperfections on its shiny exterior.

“Dents and dings are particularly annoying because they show up like spots on a mirror, especially on dark colored surfaces,” said Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the National Auto Body Council. “They also can diminish the value of your vehicle.”