12 - January 27, 2012
“Kn w Y ur Car” Tire Tips for Winter Driving
As the weather outside gets frightful, now is a good time to make sure your vehicle’s tires are prepared for snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Sixty-three percent of Americans are concerned about skidding and icy road- ways as the thermometer’s mercury drops, according to a recent survey commissioned by Hankook Tire America Corp. To ensure safety and peace of mind as you venture out on a snowy day, here are some tire tips to consider: * Buy your loved one a set of winter tires: The Han-
kook Tire Winter Gauge Index revealed that 84 percent of Americans would not mind receiving tires as a gift and 35 percent would actually love it. In these tough eco- nomic times a brand new car may not be in your budget; however a set of tires can be a more affordable way to upgrade your current car and keep your loved ones safe on the road.
* Plan accordingly when putting winter tires on:
Winter tires, such as the Winter i*cept evo are optimized specifically for icy and snowy conditions, providing enhanced traction to prevent skidding. Put snow tires on your car one to two weeks before the first anticipated snowstorm of the season. Also check your tire tread before the first storm. Worn tread is the No. 1 cause of skidding. If the tread is low, consider replacing your tires with a winter tire.
* Check your tire pressure: Every 10 degree drop in air
temperature can actually cause a vehicle’s tires to drop up to 2 pounds per square inch (psi) in tire pressure. Improper tire pressure can result in increased tread wear and lowered performance, factors that are highly detri- mental to one’s safety in undesirable weather conditions. * Have a kit handy: Because winter weather is unpre- dictable, it’s important to be prepared. Always keep in your car a winter driving kit consisting of a spare tire, ice scraper, snow shovel and brush, booster cables, a flash light and a blanket. * Check your tire carrying capacity and speed rating:
Never overload your vehicle. Check the tire load carry- ing capacity indicated on the tire or owner’s manual for the maximum recommended load. Also, when replacing tires, the speed rating of the replacement tires must be equal to or greater than that of the tire being replaced to maintain the speed capability.
It is vitally important to take appropriate steps to ensure your vehicle is properly prepared as we head into the coming months that bring snow and blustery condi- tions. Make it part of your routine to check tire pressure and tread wear, and keep yourself educated on ways to protect yourself, your friends, and your family.
- ARA Content Tips to Prepare Your Auto for Winter Travel The cold snap has arrived and the stormy winter days and dark
evenings are here. It is time to prepare your car for the winter months to minimize the risk of a breakdown. Such breakdowns
could be avoided by carrying out regular checks, so motorists are advised to follow these steps to minimize the risk. “There’s nothing worse than breaking down on a cold winter night, stranded on the side of the road,” says Jim Fults, auto insurance leader at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. “A few basic and regular checks can dramati- cally reduce the risk of getting stuck on the road. “We urge motorists to set aside some time to carry out a series of simple checks,” says Fults. “Some may seem like common sense, but you’ll be surprised at how many driv- ers forget after the summer. For example, it is crucial to ensure all your lights are clean and working properly. Al- ways replace any broken bulbs immediately. If you don’t, you will not only find it difficult to see the road clearly, you run the risk of not being seen by other drivers.” Make sure you minimize the risk of breakdown this winter by following some tips from Fireman’s Fund: Fireman’s Fund winter auto safety tips: * Get your car checked: A professional check is worth it,
for added peace of mind. * Check your tires: Rain, snow and ice can make roads lethal.
New Year, New Car?
Many people take advantage of year-end auto- motive incentives to trade in their cars for some-
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thing shiny and new. There’s a good chance that incentives will be even more enticing this season thanks to events that occurred in early 2011. The earth- quake and subsequent tsunami that ravaged Japan in March 2011 impacted the produc- tion and
supply of many vehicles. Furthermore, many “do- mestic” cars are built or are comprised from parts that are made outside of their native countries. Therefore, it’s not just Japanese brands that have been affected by extreme weather this past year. What this spells out in dollars and cents to
the average consumer is the ability to save some money on a new car simply because automo- tive retailers are looking to move merchandise and recoup some of the losses from earlier in the year. Many automakers are extending incentives until the first few months of 2012 to capitalize on post-holiday spending. Some industry experts predict low interest rates, competitive rebates and other wheeling and dealing to attract custom- ers. Although the sales prices may be available, customer interest might still be tepid because of the ongoing recession. However, there just may be ample opportunity for those with spending cash to save on a new vehicle.
When heading to the dealership, keep these tips in mind. * Know the invoice price on the car by doing
your research. It will help you negotiate the lowest price available. * Don’t appear too anxious to buy a car at a particular dealership. Tell the salesperson you’re shopping around. * It’s best to negotiate for the lowest total price of the car, NOT the lowest payment. Sales strate- gies often enable salespeople to work the numbers to get you your payment. But that could mean a longer loan term, which would raise the overall cost of the car due to interest.
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* Check out the safety reports and crash test ratings of the vehicle you’re considering. Also, research the resale value if you’re not planning on keeping
Check your tire tread and make sure the air pressure is okay. * Light the way: Keep lights clean and make sure they are working. * Get charged up: A dead battery is the main cause of break-
downs, so get it checked and replaced if necessary. * Cooling system: Ensure this is checked and that the anti-freeze content meets the manufacturer requirements. * Wipers: Check windscreen wipers and replace if they fail to clear the screen correctly. * Fuel: Ensure you have more than enough for your journey. Be prepared and take the following items with you: * A fully charged cell phone * Shovel in case of snow * De-icer and a scraper for windows * Blanket and warm clothing in case the worst happens * Sturdy shoes or rubber boots * Some snacks, such as energy bars * Extra fuel
In addition, it is a good idea to put together an emergency winter
survival kit so that you are prepared should you breakdown. Remem- ber to include a flashlight, blanket, ice scraper and a first aid kit. - ARA Content
Monthly AUTO SECTION
“Kn w Y ur Car”
Monthly AUTO SECTION
Year-end incentives may entice buyers to start the new year off with a new vehicle.
this car for a long time. It could make a difference in the make you select. * While some dealerships may not be open to negotiating price, they may be offering a low interest rate, which can save you money. Also, certain extras could be included for no cost. Now could be the time to see record-low prices
on vehicles as dealerships try to move leftover in- ventory and recover from the slump in production caused by last year’s tragic earthquake in Japan.
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