Life (and car care) is easier when you know the facts.
October 1: Saving money on gas is a good thing. So is maintaining correct tire pressure. This way, you can achieve a 10 percent boost gas savings, according to the American Automobile Association. Since needs vary by vehicle, though, check your owner’s manual for the proper air pressure for your foursome.
October 2: File this under “who knew?” (Okay, we do.) The “W” in your type of oil stands for “winter.” And the number before the “W” (i.e. SAE 5W30) lets you know how easily this oil will pump at low temperatures. 0W is for very low temperatures, and higher numbers like 10W are designed for milder winter weather.
October 3: Ferdinand Verbiest built the first automobile in 1668. It was a two-foot-long, steam-powered number. How’s that for proof we’ve come a long way?
October 4: Some symptoms your car’s alignment could be off: your vehicle is pulling to the left or right; you have uneven or rapid tire wear; your steering wheel is crooked when driving straight; or your tires squeal. If any of these ring true, it’s time for help.
October 5: The term “coolant” is a bit misleading. The truth is, coolant doesn’t simply control your engine from running hot. It also regulates engine temperature during colder weather. Considering cooler weather is coming, it’s time to do something about that.
October 6: Tire inflation levels are measured in psi (pounds per square inch). Because air pressure can decrease up to 10 psi a month just through every day driving and may potentially drop 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature drop, it’s important to ready your ride.
October 7: After seeing snow and rain gathered on trolley cars and automobile windows, Mary Anderson invented the first windshield wipers in 1905. She may not have been the first to notice, but she sure was the first to do something about it. And for that, we thank her.
October 8: Motor oil keeps your engine lubricated and helps control engine temperatures in both hot and cold weather. Yep, that means changing it is just as important during cold weather as it is when it’s hot.
October 9: If you have snow and ice tires, it’s time for a switcheroo. Think you need a set? Blizzaks have your back.
October 10: Rumor has it, Title 14, Section 1211, of the Code of Federal Regulations once subjected US citizens to a quarantine if they interacted with extraterrestrial vehicles and/or drivers. That’s right: no mingling with martians, at least not prior to 1991.
October 11: Snow. Slush. Slippery roads. It’s no secret stopping power is more important than ever during less-than-ideal winter conditions. Get your brakes checked before the weather turns.
October 12: It’s a simple fact: replacing spent spark plugs helps increase fuel economy. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence found spark plugs that misfire can reduce fuel efficiency by 30%*. If new plugs are installed at specific intervals, there’s a very good chance you’ll maximize fuel economy and save money at the pump. What’s more, a recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency, says it plays a role in lowering air pollution as well.
* ASE It’s Easy Being Green
October 13: In 2011, Americans drove less, with six consecutive monthly decreases for the first time since 2008. The reason? High gas prices. Reduce pain at the pump with a properly maintained, fuel-efficient ride.
October 15: Battery power can wind up severely depleted from hot weather. The problem is you might not even know it until the weather turns chilly. That’s why a battery check is due.
October 16: Clearing your trunk of the extra junk can work wonders when it comes to preserving your rotors and other brake parts. The reason is extra weight puts extra stress on your brakes when you stop. It also affects how quickly you can stop. So take out the sports equipment, shoes and other errant junk in your trunk.
October 17: Firestone Complete Auto Care has over 1,600 stores nationwide. That’s about the same amount of paintings rendered by Picasso during his eighty-plus year career. Now ya know.
October 18: Let’s do the math: it costs more to replace brake rotors than it does to swap tired brake pads. So before the first signs of brake trouble, get them inspected. What is a brake rotor, you ask? It’s directly connected to each wheel. To stop your car, the rotor must stop spinning, and the friction caused by the brake pad makes this happen.
October 19: An “ED-18” test on your battery is an “early detection” test, and it gauges how much life your battery has left. This test is crucial in determining whether or not you need a new battery.
October 20: Even the slightest misalignment from hitting potholes and normal wear and tear can lead to premature tire wear – even if your car’s alignment is off by 100th of a degree or inch. When this happens, it can lead to further misalignment and the need to replace your tires sooner than you hoped.
October 21: These days, cars are more fuel-efficient than ever. But gas is also much, much more expensive than it used to be. In 2011 alone, the average American spent $4,155 filling up at the pump. That’s a whole lot of yikes. And it’s a good reason to maintain your ride.
October 22: Accessories you plug into your car can drain your car battery. So, unplug the phone charger, iPod or tablet since it may be sucking the life out of your ride’s battery. The last thing you want is a car that won’t start because the battery is dead.
October 23: The thickness of your oil can affect fuel efficiency. It takes more energy (fuel burned) to pump thicker oil versus to thinner oil. More energy usage equals less fuel efficiency. Many newer vehicles run on lower viscosity oils. The lighter the oil, the less energy required to pump it. For optimal performance use the grade of oil recommended in your owner’s manual.
October 24: Kangaroos can grow up to be six feet tall and weigh over 200 pounds. Like most humans, they’d also have trouble fitting into a tiny smart car.
October 25: Strategic, periodic transmission fluid exchanges help clear your system of impurities. A clean transmission system is free to do its job – cooling and lubricating the transmission’s moving parts. Whether for manual or automatic transmission, transmission fluid protects transmission parts and makes it possible to switch gears smoothly.
October 26: Time for a fast fact. An air filter protects your engine from dirt and debris. And you can see an 11% improvement in acceleration after replacing a dirty air filter with a new one.* Our Purolator Classic air filters catch up to 95% of harmful contaminants.**
October 27: A not so fun fact: Condensation and moisture buildup inside the casings of your car bulbs (headlights, brake lights, etc.) account for most burnouts. Not good.
October 28: Bad sounds can be signs that your brakes need work. When you push down the brake pedal, do you hear screeching, grinding, rubbing or squealing? These sounds may mean your brake pads need work or your rotors need replacing.
October 29: Put a penny in your tire tread grooves with the top of Abe’s head facing down. If you can see the top of his head, that tire is spent and needs to be replaced. Honestly.
October 30: Bridgestone’s high-performance Blizzak line includes snow and ice tires for nearly every type of consumer vehicle. And they can stop a 30-mile-per-hour vehicle an average of 35 feet sooner on ice than all-season radials can. Yep, that’s about two car-lengths sooner.
October 31: Today is the last day you can get Firestone Complete Auto Care’s Complete Vehicle Inspection special. Swing by and get one so your car is ready for the winter months ahead. We visually inspect over 50 car components. See what the vehicle inspection includes.