Simple Things You Can Do to Make Your Car More Environmentally FriendlyPerforming basic vehicle maintenance will not only help protect the environment, but will also keep more “green” in your wallet, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“To be car care aware, you just need to be proactive,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By following a few simple steps from the Car Care Council, you can drive smart, save money and be green.”

Can Your Car Make Your Allergies Worse?Spring will be in the air and with it comes pollen, dust and pollutants that are drawn inside vehicles through air conditioning and ventilation systems. 

Cabin air filters clean the incoming air, removing allergens, and should be replaced regularly, says the Car Care Council.

“A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can cause contaminants to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe in more fumes and particles when riding in the car than when walking down the street,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “With allergy season quickly approaching, replacing the cabin air filter is a simple way for you and your passengers to breathe easier while driving.”

What Kind of Damage Does a Pothole Cause to Your Car?Don’t look now, but you’re probably about to hit another pothole.

Drivers know immediately when they hit a pothole, but what they don’t know is if their vehicle has been damaged in the process. While tires and wheels can be visually checked, potholes can also cause considerable damage to the steering, suspension and alignment systems that you just can’t see.

Motorists will spend nearly $5 billion on car repairs from damage caused by potholes, according to a recent report by WJLA-TV in Washington D.C. The U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) estimate that poor road conditions cost the average motorist around $335 a year.

“If you want to add more years to the relationship between you and your car, give it some extra TLC,”said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “There’s no debating the value of preventive maintenance to keep your car running efficiently. By showing your car a little love now, you’ll avoid the heartbreak and unexpected expense of car trouble down the road.”

The Car Care Council recommends treating your vehicle to a little extra attention with these easy steps.

Looking for the right repair shop for your vehicle? The non-profit Car Care Council recommends asking a few simple questions to help identify an auto repair shop to properly care for one of your most valuable assets.

  • Does the business employ ASE-certified technicians? Credentials and affiliations are indicators of professionalism and the management’s commitment to training and education.
  • Is the shop and customer waiting area clean and organized? Cleanliness and organization are signs of a well-run business.
  • Are customers greeted and treated in a friendly and respectful manner? Many auto repair businesses excel in the area of customer service and satisfaction. A simple phone call to the shop to inquire about their services can give you a glimpse of how they treat customers.
  • Does the business provide a written estimate? The business should complete a written estimate and request your signature prior to starting any repairs on your car.
  • Does the business offer a warranty? Most auto repair businesses offer a warranty on parts and labor and the warranty is usually in writing or posted in the waiting area.
  • Does the business have a list of satisfied customers or references that it is willing to give you? Satisfied customers and recommendations from family, friends and neighbors are helpful in finding a good shop. Many auto repair facilities also have company websites that are worth checking out as they often include testimonials and additional information about the business.

New Study Finds Teens Have Risky Definitions of Safe DrivingBOSTON, March 18, 2014 -- Teens know that drinking or using a cell phone while driving are dangerous behaviors – that's no surprise. What is surprising is that according to a new survey from Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), teens seem to have a different definition of what it actually means to engage in these potentially deadly behaviors. From drinking or texting while driving to using a designated driver, the new survey highlights a sharp disconnect between what teens acknowledge as risky behavior and what they actually admit to doing behind the wheel.

Study Reveals Singing Out Loud is Top Activity While DrivingDAYTONA BEACH, Fla., March 18, 2014 -- Singing out loud is the number one activity while driving, according to a consumer survey from DMEautomotive released in conjunction with National Collision Awareness month. And more dangerous distracted driving activities such as sending/receiving a text, talking on the phone, and eating, rank in the top five activities performed while driving. 

While singing out loud doesn't make distraction.gov's list of distracted driving activities, the rest in the top five do. This is sobering given that in 2012 alone, 3,328 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes.[1] And, according to the DMEa survey, younger drivers are much more likely to be multi-tasking while driving: roughly 9 in 10 admit to engaging in other activities while driving – and they are significantly more likely to be doing every single distracted driving behavior measured in the survey from texting, eating, talking on phone, using email, watching TV, working on laptop, changing clothes and putting on makeup.

Recommended Safety Items You Should Always Have in Your Car's TrunkBloomington, Ill., January 13, 2014 — Nearly all drivers could improve what is in their trunk to be better prepared for roadside emergencies. A new survey by State Farm and KRC Research shows two-thirds of drivers (67 percent) had some sort of “junk” in their trunk ranging from car detailing equipment to toys and used food or drink containers. Additionally, drivers shared a variety of strange “junk” items in their trunk including an old gorilla costume to an inflatable sheep to a wedding dress. Getting rid of the “junk” (non-emergency supplies) and adding the right supplies will help people deal with the unexpected and get back on the road.