Changing Your Oil

Changing Your Oil

Changing your oil is vital for your vehicle and it will help to avoid costly issues.  It is recommended that you change your oil every 3,000 miles.  The oil filter may also need to be replaced. 

A technician will select the correct grade for your car.  At most places you can get a courtesy check for the engine air filter, antifreeze, brake, power steering, and automatic transmission fluid.

An oil change will put fresh oil into your car and drain the old oil.  This is important because the old oil can become filled with dust, and metal particles.  Your gas mileage can lower and cause engine failure without an oil change. 

Gerber Collision and Glass recommend that you keep up to date with your oil changes.

Pet Safety in Vehicles

Pet Safety in Vehicles

 

Before you travel with your pet there are some important things to consider.  Check to see if the pet is covered by your insurance company.  Some insurance companies will pay a percent of the vet bill. 

Get dog ID tags that have your phone number.  This will help your pet get returned to you in case he or she sneaks out of your car. 

Pack a doggie bag.  Bring food, water, medications, togs and a first aid kit.  Feed them a few hours before you leave.  This will prevent them from getting sick in the car.

Keep your pet buckled up.  Have them wear a harness or put them in a crate.  This will keep them from flying around in the car. Without these safety precautions, the driver could become distracted and cause a collision.

Never leave your dog in the car.  They are vulnerable to heat stroke.  Even if it isn’t hot outside they can still be in danger of a heat stroke.  Don’t leave your windows open.  They could get stolen.  Gerber Collision and Glass want to keep your pets safe.

Driving in windy weather

Driving in windy weather

Every driver should know tips on how to drive in windy weather.  Drivers may encounter high gusts of winds while they are driving.  .

Start off by dropping your speed. Be careful of any branches or trees that may fall onto the road. Driving slowly can reduce impact when running into any unpredicted debris.

Trucks, buses or vehicles towing trailers are the most prone to being blown off the course by the wind.  Pay attention to those vehicles.   Always keep both hands on the wheel to make sure you have control of your vehicle.

Seek shelter if the high winds turn into a tornado.  Don’t ever try and drive faster than the tornado in your car.   If there is no shelter close, exit your vehicle and find a ditch to stay in until it is safe.

If you are home don’t get in your car if you know there is a tornado in your area.  Wait until the bad conditions subside.

Gerber Collision and Glass advise you to always proceed with caution when you are driving in windy weather.

Driving in thunderstorms and lightning

Driving in thunderstorms and lightning

 Driving in inclement weather is not fun.  It can become dangerous very quickly.  Heavy winds and sideways rain can move your vehicle all over the road.  Throw in some lightning and you’ve got a mess on your hands.  Gerber Collision and Glass want to go over a few crucial details everyone should know when faced with rough weather behind the wheel.

 – Do not drive unless it is totally necessary.

 – Always allow extra space for breaking.

 – Turn on low beam headlights

–  Pull off on the shoulder and away from any trees or other things that could become flying projectiles

– Stay in your vehicle with your emergency flashers on

– Keep the radio on to a weather channel for updates

– Approach intersections with caution and come to a complete when   approaching traffic lights

– Your best protection against lightning is your vehicle

– Stay away from flooded streets and downed power lines

– Tire pressure and windshield wipers should be checked weekly

Windshield Wiper Motor

Windshield Wiper Motor

An electric motor is what makes the wiper blades move back and forth.  This happens as soon as you turn on your windshield wipers.  The majority of cars have a single wiper motor that controls the wipers on the front of your car.  When a car has a back window wiper, it will have a separate motor. 

The front windshield wiper motor is generally located under the outside vent at the bottom of your windshield. It is what moves the linkage back and forth to the wiper transmissions.  This causes the wiper arms to move. 

The motors could fail and need to be replaced.  Gerber Collision and Glass encourage you to replace the motor to get your wipers back up and running for the rainy season.

Service your transmission

Service your transmission

We all know the drill.  Get your oil changed every three thousand miles.  You here this time and time again to maintain you’re your vehicles engine.  You may be overlooking another maintenance issue that’s just as important.  It is recommended to have your transmission serviced every twenty five thousand miles.  Typical service includes changing the filter and adding new fluid.  It is important to check your vehicles manual for service instructions for your transmission.  All vehicles have different guidelines on what mileage to bring your car in.

It is just as important to keep fresh fluid in your transmission as it is oil in the engine.  Over time, this fluid can turn brown and become less effective.  The more wear and tear on your car, the more your transmission is working overtime.  Gerber Collision and Glass recommend checking your transmission fluid every couple of months.  The fluid should be a reddish color.  If there are any brown spots it could be time for servicing.

Cleaning the outside of your car

Cleaning the outside of your car

Roll up the windows tightly and shut all the doors.

Rinse the car with a hose. Start with the roof and continue down to the tires.

Fill a bucket with warm water and car detergent. (Although many people use mild dishwashing liquid to wash their car, it’s best to buy automotive car soap designed to protect your paint job.)

Wash the car with a sudsy sponge or rag. Start with the roof and work your way down. Wash the windows and tires, too. Use a step stool if you have difficulty reaching the roof of your car.

Rinse off all the soap with a hose.

Dry the entire car with a clean, dry chamois cloth or towel.

Clean the windows with paper towels or newspaper and window cleaner.

Apply vinyl protectant with a clean rag to any vinyl parts such as the bumper and trim.

Use metal or chrome cleaner on the wheel rims.

Gerber Collision and Glass encourages you to keep your car clean.

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_112991_clean-outside-car.html

Cleaning Your Car Engine

A car owner needs to periodically clean the engine compartment.  This will prevent rust, help find belt wear, and look for oil or fluid leaks.  The proper temperature for cleaning the engine is warm.  You do not want it too hot. 

When the engine is warm, you need to spray it with a non-petroleum based degreaser.  In order to avoid getting degreaser in your face, you should start at the bottom and work your way up.  The degreaser should sit for five minutes.  Use a towel to remove the soiled areas.  After you have cleaned the engine rinse it with water. 

Remove the plastic bags and rubber banks once the engine compartment is clean.  Dry the battery and any puddles.  Start the engine to dry the rest of it.  Wax the painted areas of the engine.  Do not wax the engine itself. 

Disconnect the battery cables and clean the terminals and the battery posts.  You can use a wire brush to do this.  Check all the hinges, shocks, and throttle cables.  Make sure they have a thin coat of non-silicone lubricant.  Check all fluid levels.  Once all these tasks are done, you have completed cleaning your engine.  Gerber Collision and Glass encourage you to clean your engine compartment.

Rainy Summer Days

Rainy Summer Days

The rainy summer days are ahead of us.  We need to drive smart in stormy conditions.  It ismore difficult to see other cars and the road.  Practicing extra safety precautions during a rainy road trip will keep you and others safe. 

Keep the proper distance from the car ahead of you.  It takes longer to stop in wet weather.  The 3 second rule or longer should be followed.  Slow down your driving speed.  Accidents happen more in wet weather.

Turn your headlights on even in a light rain.  They will help other drivers see you.  If your vehicle has daytime running lights you still should put them on, so vehicles behind you can see you better. 

Replace windshield wipers at the beginning of the season to prepare for the weather.  Bad wipers can distort your view in rainy weather. 

Check your tires frequently. Bald tires significantly decrease your traction on wet roadways.  If your tires are bald, the water has no place to go and you end up driving on water, and have a chance of hydroplaning.

Gerber Collision and Glass would like you to enjoy your summer with your family and friends and keep safe on the roadways.

 

 

Driving during a Tropical Storm

Driving during a Tropical Storm

Well it’s that time of year again.  It is time to go to the hardware store and get supplies like batteries, flashlights, and wood to board the windows.  If you live in the South or by the Coast you know exactly what we’re talking about.  You guessed it, hurricane season is upon us.  Florida just got pounded with heavy rains and winds for about five days from Tropical Storm Debby.  The accidents in the Orlando area were beyond belief.  A major stretch of Interstate 4 had nearly thirty collisions due to the wet conditions on the roads.  Is there anything we can learn from this? How different should we drive in tropical conditions?

                First off, if you have to be on the roads, you must drive slowly.  Speeding is the leading cause of accidents during undesirable conditions.  Vehicles can lose all traction and hydroplane when water is present on the roads.  Flooding can become a major concern, and it can happen quickly.  Roads can become hazardous within minutes of a heavy rainstorm.  You must proceed with caution.  Debris such as tree limbs can make the highway seem like an obstacle course.

  Winds can play tricks with your vehicle and make it unstable.  Gerber Collision and Glass have seen the results tropical weather can put on a vehicle.  Use common sense and always drive as slow as possible.  Check your local weather report before venturing out in these extreme conditions.  The smartest thing to do is stay off the roads if winds are strong enough to affect your driving.  Be smart and stay safe out there during hurricane season.

Teen Car Collisions

Teen Car Collisions

Teenage car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths. Teenage car collisions are an enormous problem. Understanding the causes of teen car accidents is the first step to help our teenagers.

Most teenage car accidents happen because teen drivers lack experience. They are not prepared for situations such as bad weather conditions, night time driving, and road rage.  If a teenage driver is immature they are more likely to act irresponsibly behind the wheel and cause horrible car crashes.

Almost one third of all fatal teen car crashes involve speeding.  Many teen drivers speed. Some of them are trying to show off to their friends or seek thrill.   Speeding is very dangerous for teens.

Drinking and driving is becoming an increasing problem with teenagers. They lack the experience of how alcohol affects their body.  They get behind the wheel and cause dangerous accidents

Many teenage drivers get very distracted.  They text and drive, talk on the cell phone and change radio stations.  The distraction level goes up when there is passengers in the car.  Their friends can be loud.  They dare them to do risky behavior.  Statistics on teen car accidents have revealed that the number of fatal car crashes among teenage drivers increase with each additional passenger.

Teenage drivers are the least likely to wear a seatbelt.  Approximately two thirds of teenagers who die in fatal car accidents were not wearing a seat beat.

Gerber Collision and Glass hope that parents take action to help prevent teenage car accidents.  Let’s keep our teenagers safe.

Proper Tire Maintenance

Proper Tire Maintenance

Tires are the only connection between your car and the road.  Taking good care of them is such an important obligation by any car owner.  Do not let your tires get neglected. 

Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure.  Not only are under inflated tires more susceptible to destruction and failure, they can lead to greater fuel costs.  Balanced tires are vital for a smooth ride and long tire wear. Tires are out of balance when one section is heavier than the others.  Balancing tires is done by positioning weights on the wheel to counterbalance heavy spots on the wheel-and-tire assembly.

Good wheel alignment is critical for getting the most tread wear and life from your tires. Wheel alignments adjust a vehicle’s suspension so the wheels are positioned correctly relative to the vehicle’s frame. This modification maximizes the life of your tires and prevents your car from veering left or right when traveling on a straight level road.  If your car pulls or goes sideways from a straight line then you might need an alignment.

Tire rotation is crucial for improving a tire’s lifespan. Rotating tires on a consistent basis improves wear across the complete tread pattern.  Rotate your tires at least every 6,000 miles, or earlier, depending on tire wear.

Tire maintenance is really imperative for ensuring your safety while you drive. Your tires are what let you move.  However, a tire failure will forbid this, and it will likely happen while you are driving.  Gerber Collision and Glass urge you to take care of your tires.

Check your lights

Check your lights

Before venturing out these hot summer nights, make sure all your vehicle’s lights are working properly.  You should test out your lights every week.  Make sure all the blinkers are coming on.  The hazards should blink properly as well.  Test the headlights and the brights.  If they are dim, you may need to replace a bulb.  If any lights are out, check that the fuse is not blown.  Most importantly, the tail lights and brake lights should be illuminating properly.  Failure to have these working can result in a collision that is your fault.  Gerber Collision and Glass want you to stay safe this summer.  A safe vehicle is a properly maintained one.

Get your car in summer shape

Get your car in summer shape

Well, it’s beginning to feel a lot like summer out there. The temperature is starting to rise. The kids are almost out of school. The barbecue grill is getting ready for weekly cookouts. Yes, summer is almost upon us once again. It also means the start of another rainy season. Have you thought about if your vehicle is prepared for the wet conditions? Now is a good time to get that car in summer shape.

Check your tires. Bald tires are very dangerous, especially in rainy conditions. Have your tires balanced and rotated. This will help the car grip the road better. Make sure all your lights are working properly. During summer rainstorms Gerber Collision and Glass advise drivers to use their headlights. Remember, you can barely see the road in most summer storms, headlights are critical in avoiding a collision.

Have your brakes checked. Make sure the pads are not worn. Check your windshield wipers. Chances are, if they haven’t been replaced since last summer your vehicle is due for a new pair. Be smart out there this summer. Driving in heavy rain is dangerous. Keep your speed low and your attention high.

Don’t race the light

Don’t race the light

Lately there has been a rise in collisions due to running traffic lights.  We see vehicles all the time speeding through red lights or pushing on the gas through yellow ones.  We need to focus on safe driving, especially when coming to traffic lights.  In recent years, many cities have installed cameras at traffic lights.  If you run it, your vehicle and license plate will get their picture taken.  You will be issued a traffic citation and may have to appear in court.

 There has also been an increase in school bus accidents.  Drivers racing to get through the light have caused major collisions with these buses and children have been seriously hurt.  Gerber Collision and Glass want to remind everyone to take it slow.  Running a red light is never worth it.  Causing a serious accident or being issued a hefty ticket is all that will result.

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Did you know that April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month?  We need to look at some issues that are still occurring on a regular basis that inhibit a driver’s ability to focus.  In most cases, common sense is the first issue that goes out the door.  We need to start making better decisions behind the wheel.  Remember, we are not the only ones in danger when we lose attention on the road. 

If you must talk on the phone while you drive, make sure you have a hands free phone.  Cell phone use while driving is still the number one distraction for drivers.  We see people all the time texting while driving.  This leads to more collisions than driving under the influence.  Wait until you get to your destination or pull over if you have to text or dial your phone.

We need to also focus on distractions such as the radio and eating in the car.  Messing with the radio is also very dangerous because it takes our eyes off the road.  Pre- set your radio stations so you don’t have to constantly play with the radio.  Eating in the car can also be dangerous.  Any action that involves removing your hands from the wheel is considered a distraction.

Gerber Collision and Glass want to encourage drivers to practice safe habits behind the wheel.  It may be National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but safety should be the number one focus every day.

Share the road

We see motorcyclists everywhere.  Cruising down the highway or revving their motors at a stop light.  We see them parked at a bike shop or displaying their Harleys’ at a motorcycle show.  We see them all the time, day and night, but are we really aware of them.  We must share the road with motorcycles.  There are some issues that rarely get talked about when you are driving near them.  These tips can help motorists and bikers maintain safety while driving.

                Motorcycles are visually smaller than automobiles, so it is extremely important to check your blind spot when changing lanes.  Many drivers do not anticipate a motorcycle.  Always be aware of the possibility that one could be present.  It is recommended that motorcyclists drive with their lights on.  This gives an extra measure of safety.  Gerber Collision and Glass strongly recommend installing blind spot mirrors.  However, drivers still need to look for themselves.  Use the mirrors as a double check tool.  We must be courteous to bikers and be aware of their presence.

Play defense during March madness

Play defense during March madness

 

It is March madness everywhere you turn. The final four is coming up. Did your team make the tournament? If they did, chances are they played good defense to get there. Maybe we should take a look at another place to play good defense. Be the number one defender behind the wheel of your vehicle. Defensive driving can help you avoid collisions and make you a safer driver.

Being a defensive driver does not mean being a scared driver. It simply means being aware of your surroundings and the situation you are driving in. For instance, if you’re on a two lane highway and someone is on your bumper, like a point guard on a forward, let them pass. Don’t play games speeding up. This is where you want to be a defensive driver. Gerber Collision and Glass have seen the results careless driving can produce. Be cautious and always know what is going on around you when you are behind the wheel. After all, we all want to be part of the game tomorrow!

Changing lanes with blind spot mirrors

Blind Spot Mirrors   

                                                         

Blind spot mirrors are a key component to vehicle safety.  The blind spot in a moving vehicle is a safety issue that must be stressed. Many decisions must be made when attempting to change lanes or pass another vehicle.  Before changing into another lane you must be sure there is no traffic or obstacles. This could hinder the safety of you or others. One major problem with attempting to change lanes is turning your head around to look in the other lane. Although we have all done it, this takes focus off of what is in front of us.  This could result in an auto collision

 Blind spot mirrors allow the driver to see traffic without turning the focus away from what is ahead of them. These mirrors are installed on the corners of the side mirrors and are designed to pick up the blind spot. The blind spot is the area you cannot see with just the side mirrors alone. Blind spot safety mirrors are an excellent device that can be installed in seconds and are sold at a low cost.  Gerber Collision and Glass recommends checking all safety issues with your vehicle before your next lane change.

Many Options (voice to text, hands-free features) make texting while driving unnecessary

Many Options (voice to text, hands-free features) make texting while driving unnecessary…

Texting while driving is a huge NO-NO!  Some interesting information about texting while driving is listed below.  Please remember that these statistics are only estimates.  We at Gerber Collision and Glass continue to encourage you to please stop texting while driving.  Please make the pledge and be dedicated to driving without texting…. there are many options, like voice to text, and hands-free features that making using your thumbs and physically texting while driving completely unnecessary….

Texting while driving info:

  • An accident can happen within seconds of texting
  • Texting is a youth’s sport, as more of the youngsters are the ones that are keen to this technology.  It is said that about 40 percent of texting while driving drivers are ages 18 to 27.  Then the age group of 28 to 44 years old is about 15 percent, and then only 2 percent of 45 to 60 years old text while driving.
  • Texting while driving causes lane weaving, speeding up and down, and increases the chances of running into pedestrians, other vehicles, or other objects.
  • 95 percent of people think texting while driving is a big NO-NO, but at least approximately 25 percent admit that they do it anyways.
  • Legally drunk drivers need about 4 additional feet to begin braking… and a person that is texting while driving needs about 70 feet to begin braking.  This is extremely scary folks.
  • And finally, texting while driving your automobile increases your risk of an accident about 25 times a person operating a vehicle that is not impaired in some way.

What can you do?

Experts say one of easiest things to do is to just simply turn off your phone when you get into your vehicle.  It’s that easy!  This way you will resist the urge to send a message, or to reply to a message received.  There are even many states that have passed laws that make texting while driving illegal.  Bottom line:  it is about saving your life, and saving the lives of others…. Please do not text and drive…