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February 2012

February 06, 2012

Prepping Your Car For Spring

ROAD & TRAVEL Auto Advice: Prepping Your Vehicle for Spring
Car Maintenance for Spring:
Prep Your Vehicle for Sunny Weather

by Tom Kline

Spring is a time of fresh starts and renewals. Extend the “spring cleanup” you give your house and yard to your vehicle. You’ll not only improve its performance and lengthen its life, but you’ll spare yourself time, money and aggravation.

Tasks You Can Perform On Your Own
Whether you do the work yourself or depend on a professional technician, getting your vehicle in shape now will undo any damage caused by winter driving and keep you safe on the road this season.

  • Remove clutter from your car. Vacuum the carpeting; Windex the windows; wipe the headlights with a soft, damp rag. Wash and wax your vehicle to remove winter salt and grime and protect the finish.

  • Cooling system (radiator): flush and refill according to the service manual’s instructions. The level, condition and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. Important — first let the engine cool down before removing the radiator cap.

  • RK service technicians tell us that skipping oil changes can greatly reduce your vehicle’s life. Change the oil and oil filter as specified in your owner’s manual. Be sure to properly dispose of used oil. Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended in your service manual.

  • Check your tires, including the spare. Let them cool down before che cking their pressure. Uneven wear, cupping, vibrations or pulling to one side indicates problems with your tires or suspension system. [Click here for more tips]

February 03, 2012

Women Ask Tougher Questions When Car Shopping

Women Ask Tougher Questions and Are More Thorough Than Men When Car Shopping - Study

Women Ask Tougher Questions on Safety, Incidents

Are women more thorough than men when shopping for a vehicle? analyzed customer transactions during 2011 when out-of-state lease transfers occurred and found that more women ordered third-party vehicle inspections compared with men. When women were on the “buyer” end of a lease transfer they ordered a vehicle inspection 67.2 percent of the time, compared with 54.5 percent for that of men.

Vehicle lease transfers processed through the LeaseTrader marketplace include the option for a vehicle inspection conducted by a third party company, anywhere in the country. This service is mostly ordered when the car is located in a different region and the interested party can’t easily travel to see the car first-hand.

Women buyers also ask different and more thorough questions than men buyers. A review of customer correspondence patterns during 2011 also revealed that women buyers inquired about specific areas in terms of safety performance, incident history and a general sense of a vehicle’s overall functionality given certain circumstances. The majority of correspondence from men buyers primarily covered a vehicle’s overall driving and engine performance, aesthetics and vehicle technology, and some minor safety features. [Full Story]

February 01, 2012

How Graduated Driver's Licensing Works by Molliie Jones

How Graduated Driver’s Licensing Works

by Mollie Jones

Getting a driver’s license is an important rite of passage as a teenager. Lately there has been much debate over the age at which teens should be eligible to drive by themselves. These debates have resulted in graduated driver’s licensing laws in many states. Though ages and restrictions can vary by state, graduated driver’s license laws share some common objectives.

  • Learner’s permit
    To obtain a learner’s permit, often a teen driver must meet specific age requirements (typically 15 or 16 years old), complete a driver’s education course and pass a written driving exam. Adult supervision may be required for 30-50 hours of driving time before the teen can earn an intermediate license.

  • Intermediate license
    An intermediate license is granted when a young driver has reached 16 or 17 years of age. At this point adult supervision is no longer required. However, other restrictions to the teen driver’s license will still apply, like night time driving curfews, cell phone restrictions and passenger limits. Teen drivers will also need to pass a behind-the-wheel maneuverability test. Full story