A few weeks ago we talked about National Car Care Month, and the importance of making good car maintenance a habit. So, how are you doing with that? Just in case you haven’t quite gotten in gear, we have a five-part series ahead to inspire you.
First, let’s take a look at some eye-opening stats from AAA :
Among U.S. adults who drive, one third (35 percent) have skipped or delayed maintenance or a repair that was recommended by their mechanic or specified in the factory maintenance schedule
And a survey of AAA approved auto repair facilities revealed:
Six in ten (62%) repair shops say more than half of the vehicles they service are behind schedule for routine maintenance services.
Three‐quarters (77%) of repair shops estimate customers who forget or ignore manufacturers’ recommended maintenance could save, on average, $100 or more per visit if they properly maintained their vehicles.
The more you know about car maintenance, the better equipped you’ll be to get in gear. Not only will you understand what needs to be done, you will have a clearer picture of why car maintenance services are so important. Some of the maintenance services we’ll be looking at that need to be done regularly include:
- Oil Changes
- Rotate Tires & Inspect for Proper Wear
- Flush Cooling System & Replace Coolant
- Drain & Refill Transmission
- Tune-up & Spark Plug Replacement
The goal of this series is not to make you an expert, but to help you understand these services and why they are important, so you can get in gear car maintenance. Up first: Oil Changes
Hydroplaning occurs when the tires of a vehicle ride on top of water that is on the road rather than on the surface of the road. Many drivers may not realize that hydroplaning can happen even when road surfaces are slightly damp. Hydroplaning is a very real possibility whether you are driving in heavy rain or just after a passing shower. It is important for drivers to know how to handle hydroplaning when it occurs, and more importantly how to avoid it.
Those of us who have experienced hydroplaning can attest that it’s really scary situation. If hydroplaning does ever occur while you are driving, it is important to fight the urge to brake or turn suddenly. Try to ease your foot off the gas until the car slows and you can feel the contact with the road. If you must brake do it with a light pumping action. Most vehicles are now equipped with anti-lock braking systems that will safely and effectively pump automatically as you brake.
It is important to remember that hydroplaning is highly preventable. A few of the avoidable factors that contribute to the likelihood of hydroplaning include worn tire tread and improper inflation, as well as driving at high speeds.
Thanks to developments in tire technology, the tread on your tires has been designed to prevent hydroplaning by channeling and dispersing water and slush away from the face of the tire. Worn tread cannot do this because the channels lack the required depth. Under-inflated tires are also unable to disperse water properly.
Traveling at high speeds can increase the likelihood of hydroplaning. Moving at a higher speed, the tire does not have enough time to push the water out of the way, as it is designed to do. Keeping your tires in good condition and driving smart in inclement weather will go a long way in preventing hydroplaning.
Always slow down when driving through rain, snow, or slush, especially when turning or on curves. Avoid driving through puddles or standing water whenever possible.