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Tip of the Week
To make sure your vehicle is prepared for the winter months, here are some simple tips to help you arrive safely to your destination and not end up on the side of the road.
- Traction is key: With hazardous winter weather ahead, now is not the time to ignore your tires. Many vehicles need superior performing winter tires for optimum traction to navigate harsh winter conditions with confidence.
- Feel the pressure: As temperatures change, so does tire pressure. Proper tire inflation is essential for increased automotive safety, optimum driving performance and even good fuel mileage. Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer recommendations printed on a placard on the driver's side door jamb or in the glove box, and should be checked at least monthly. Improper inflation can lead to premature or irregular tire wear and even reduce a vehicle's fuel efficiency by an average of 3.3 percent.
- Take the lead out of your foot: Remember, just because you have superior traction doesn't mean you can speed in snowy and icy conditions. With temperatures dropping, any precipitation can cause the roadway to become dangerously slick. When approaching intersections, stop signs, turns or any area where you have to decelerate, take your foot off the gas, apply the brakes gently and give yourself a cushion in case of slippery conditions. You can't get to your destination quickly if your car is off the road.
- A clean vehicle is a safe vehicle: Do not drive without removing snow from the entire vehicle. If snow is left on the hood, it can blow onto the windshield, obstructing your view and if left on the roof or tailgate, snow can fly off the car, especially at high speeds, hitting other cars and causing accidents and swerving. Driving with snow on your car, obstructing your vision, is dangerous.
- Keep it flowing: Oil is the lifeblood of the engine, helping to keep it running efficiently and effectively. Not sure what oil to use? Defer to a professional or use the grade of motor oil recommended by the vehicle manufacturer to achieve optimum engine protection and fuel efficiency.
- Keep a kit: Keep a survival kit handy. A flashlight with fresh batteries, a blanket, water bottles, cellphone charger, jumper cables, flares, a “help” sign, and a first aid kit will prepare you for emergency situations or unexpected breakdowns.
Motor Trend recently named its SUV of the Year. Here are recent winners:
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL
2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
2011 Porsche Cayenne
2010 Subaru Outback
2009 Subaru Forester
2008 Mazda CX-9
Did You Know
Chevrolet announced that the 2014 Corvette will make its debut on Jan. 13 before the North American International Auto Show.
Q: I own a 1997 Cadillac DeVille and have to replace the heater blower motor. I looked at the motor under the hood and cannot get the motor out. I removed all the bolts and the motor is hitting the engine. Can you help?
A: There are a couple of ways to remove the blower motor on all the Northstar-equipped Cadillac vehicles. The first step is to make sure the key is off and disconnect the battery. The blower motor has an electronic module connected to it. That is why you must disconnect the battery before removal and replacement. The second often-overlooked concern is the engine has to be running, not just putting the key to the “on” position, for the blower motor to come on. You can remove the strut tower brace if equipped, ignition coil, module and bracket, EVAP solenoid and bracket and on some vehicles the camshaft cover. The other way is to lower the engine cradle down enough to get the blower motor out. Either way this is not a major job. You must install the insulation heat shield on the new motor and make sure that the sparkplug wires are not touching the blower motor.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service