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Car Care Fall/Winter 2016

Tire traction tips page 4

Winterizing vehicles page 7

Best time to buy a car page 10

Theft-proof your ride page 15

An advertising supplement produced by Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette


October 2016

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Fall/Winter Car Care

Safely transport trees and gifts Car Care Fall/Winter 2016

is an advertising supplement produced by Peninsula Daily News & Sequim Gazette Advertising Department 305 W. First St., Port Angeles, WA 98362 147 W. Washington St. Sequim, WA 98382 | 360-452-2345 | 360-683-3311 regional publisher | Terry R. Ward general manager | Steve Perry special sections editors | Pat Morrison Coate, Brenda Hanrahan and Laura Lofgren

By Laura Lofgren and MetroCreative With the holiday season fast approacing, people are starting to plan their budgets for gifts and potentially a decorative tree. Although it’s a joyous time of year, there are some ways to make it safer for all those involved when it comes to transportation. Here are a few tips for packing up your car with gifts and transporting a tree.


If a holiday road trip is in your future, space constraints may require you to be a little creative when packing the car. Shop for smaller gifts, including gift cards, which are easier to transport. Advise family and friends that you will have limited space so they should not go overboard with regard to gifts given to you in return. Heed safety precautions and do not obscure driver visibility in the car by stacking presents too high. Also, secure boxes and packages in the car so they do not slide or move around.

Anything that is not secured can become airborne in the event of a collision, increasing the risk for injury. Items placed on roof racks should be tightly secured so they don’t fall off and present a hazard.


Ask the tree seller to freshly cut the bottom of the tree and wrap the entire tree in twine so it will be easier to move. Place the tree on the roof of your car with the trunk facing the front of the car. This way the wind will not fan out the branches and loosen up needles.


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Fall/Winter Car Care

October 2016


Is your fuel ready for the coming winter season? By NewsUSA

should be used within 30-45 days, but an enzyme stabilizer will stabilize gasoline for up to two years.

Winter is coming — and that means it’s time to store seasonal tools and recreational equipment. Safe, smart storage of motorcycles, RVs, power equipment, seasonal cars and other summertime recreation vehicles goes a long way toward keeping them at their best to ensure peak performance in the spring. To keep the fuel in gas-powered machines and equipment in peak shape through winter storage, consider these three elements:



Fuel in gas-powered equipment that remains in storage during the winter months needs to be stabilized to ensure easy starts and full power in the spring. Untreated fuel begins to oxidize, losing quality and combustibility over time, which leads to engines that are hard to

start or run rough.


Draining gas from power equipment or cars is one way to prevent gunk and debris from forming, but it isn’t always a

practical solution. One alternative — add a fuel stabilizer; however, you need to choose the right treatment to ensure maximum fuel quality. In general, ethanol-blended gasoline





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Some fuel stabilizers contain many of the same anticorrosion and antioxidant additive packs that are already present in pump-grade gas. Adding more of these add-pack compounds can degrade fuel quality causing engines to run rough and smoky when they are started after winter storage. An enzyme stabilizer is designed to work in conjunction with pump-grade gas additives to keep fuel fresh for maximum performance in the spring. Fresh fuel and easy engine starts are better for fuel economy, which means lower emissions and less environmental impact. And it’s not just for winter; an enzyme fuel treatment can maximize fuel quality all year-long.



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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016

Fall/Winter Car Care

Get a grip on cold-weather tire traction By Matt Shackelford Les Schwab Tire Center, Sequim Winter is coming. Are you ready? How about your car? Is it “traction ready?” Do your driving needs require winter tires or are all-season tires sufficient? Having the right type of tires for your driving needs can save on those whiteknuckle experiences. With a little preparation, those times can be limited, and smooth sailing to grandma and grandpa’s house will be had by all. In the Pacific Northwest, we see all types of weather — from torrential rains to snowstorms. Having the right tire can vary for everyone. For years, the most popular choice has been the studded tire, but the studless snow tire and specific all-season tires are becoming a lot more popular. An aggressive tread design tire with small metal studs, the studded tire is by far the best option when it comes to snow and ice. As you click-clack down the road, the open tread pattern grips away at snow while the studs bite into the slippery ice. But the convenience factor is diminished some due to the fact that they are only legal from Nov. 1-April 1, thus creating the rush to change from all-season tires to studded every fall and back again in the spring. Another option that is gaining a lot of popularity is the studless snow tire. Studless tires use a combination of tread design and special rubber compounds to create traction. Like a studded tire, an aggressive tread pattern is used, but in that tread pattern is bunch of small cuts called “siping.”



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This siping creates a lot more biting surface on the road and is paired with a special rubber compound that gets stickier the colder it becomes. You now have a great traction tire that is quiet and has good performance in wet, dry or snowy weather. Although it is legal to use year-round, this tire design will wear faster in the warmer months, so changing from winter and summer is advised. All-season tires have come a long way over the years in terms of traction and wear. Tread designs offer quiet, long-lasting traction used year-round in most conditions. As mentioned earlier, siping can add a lot more traction to any tire. On the studless tires, siping is built into the mold when the tire is being made. While the same is true on all-season tires, there is minimal benefit from the factory. This is why additional siping, usually during installation, is so helpful in the aid of traction, especially for our climate here in the Pacific Northwest. While not quite to level of traction seen with studded or studless tires, having a good all-season tire with siping offers affordable, year-round traction. No matter if you drive a little or a lot or if you charge into a snowstorm or stay at home to wait it out, regularly checking over the tread depth and air pressure of your tires can alert you to any problems that may develop with your tires and help you prepare for bad weather driving. These things can go a long way to getting you “traction ready,” and grandma and grandpa will appreciate it, too.


According to, which ranked the most expensive recently made road-legal cars in the world, the most expensive car in the world is the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, which will set buyers back roughly $4.8 million. In ranking the cars, ignored classic cars sold at auction and limited the list to one entrant per nameplate to prevent redundancies. Only three of the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevitas were ever made. For those who fall just short of the CCXR Trevita price tag, the Lamborghini Veneno checks in as the second most expensive car in the world. The Veneno and its 6.5-liter V12 engine can reach 60 miles per hour in under three seconds, all for the low price of just $4.5 million.

Fall/Winter Car Care

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016


Phone etiquette can prevent auto accidents By MetroCreative

New / Used Auto Loans Let one of our First Federal Bankers help you find the Auto Loan that fits your needs. the legal limit. Although the majority of drivers support a ban on texting while driving, many still continue to do it. The single best way to prevent driving accidents and fatalities related to mobile phone usage is to put the phone down. Consider the following suggestions to help you avoid looking at your phone while behind the wheel. •  Keep your phone in a purse or in a bag in the back seat so that it is not readily accessible while driving. Many cars now have Bluetooth-enabled hands-free dialing and calling. So you do not need to have the phone nearby to answer a call. •  Leave your phone at home on short trips and give yourself a break from screen time. •  Set up an automatically generated text message that indicates you are driving. Other apps will read out texts to you or block incoming calls or texts altogether. •  Turn off notifications so you will not be tempted to look at your phone each time there’s a new pop-up or sound. Remember, any texts can wait until you pull over, park or arrive at your destination.

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Because they enable people to make calls or send messages from just about anywhere, mobile phones can be great conveniences. But they also can be annoying when conversations, texting or perusing the internet gets in the way of proper etiquette. Talking loudly in public areas, texting when in the middle of a face-to-face conversation or sharing personal details in public are not just bad manners, but such behaviors also can be unsafe. Poor mobile phone etiquette is cause for some concern, but there is great cause for concern for people who find themselves routinely distracted by their mobile phones while driving or operating equipment. Using a mobile phone when driving greatly increases a person’s risk of getting into an accident. Distracted driving has become something of an epidemic, as the following figures, courtesy of Don’t Text and Drive, illustrate. •  Texting or doing something on your phone can distract drivers for as long as five seconds. If you’re traveling at 55 mph, that is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field without looking at the road. •  Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely than normal to be in a car crash. •  Among drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 involved in car accidents in the United States, 13 percent admitted to texting or talking on their phones at the times of their crashes. •  The National Safety Council reports that cellphone use while driving leads to around 1.6 million crashes each year, with nearly 330,000 injuries occurring from such accidents. •  Cellphone usage while driving can delay a driver’s reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at


Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016

Fall/Winter Car Care

How to get the best deals on an auto loan By MetroCreative

Be careful not to apply for too many loans when loan shopping, as each application will lower your credit score. •  Clean up your credit. Creditors take many things into account when determining loan terms, but perhaps no variable is more important than an applicant’s own credit history. If your credit history is bumpy or you are currently carrying substantial debt, pay off as much of your debt as possible before applying for an auto loan. Even if your credit history is not great, you may be

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Thanks to the high costs of new automobiles, many drivers now take out loans when replacing their existing vehicles. Such loans make it possible for drivers to purchase new vehicles they may not have the cash to buy outright, and making car payments on time each month is a great way for consumers to build their credit. Drivers want to find great deals on their cars, but they also should make an effort to secure the most consumer-friendly auto loan they can find. Doing so can save drivers substantial amounts of money over the course of their loans, and finding a great deal is not as difficult as it may seem. •  Go to your lender first and foremost. Loan shopping before car shopping, as opposed to relying on dealers to arrange the loan once you find a car you want, can help drivers secure better terms. By prequalifying for a loan, consumers can then go to the dealership knowing exactly how much they can spend, saving themselves time and easing nerves some buyers may have about the car-buying process. Prequalifying with a bank, credit union or online lender does not lock buyers into those terms, leaving them room to secure even better deals by asking the auto dealer to beat the terms of their existing financing deals.

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in line for better loan terms if you have paid off your consumer debt and recently indicated you are capable of making monthly payments for an extended period of time. •  Comparison shop. Lenders compete with one another, and consumers can use that to secure the best possible loan terms. If one lender gives you loan terms that you find attractive, resist the temptation to sign on the dotted line right away. Sleeping on it and taking the terms to the lender’s competitors or even auto dealers may ultimately result in you landing even better terms. •  Know the terms of the loan before you drive off the lot. Some financing terms may be classified as “contingent,” which means the terms can change even after drivers take cars off the lot. That may mean higher interest rates or lengthier loans, which can cost drivers considerably more money in the long run. Drivers can avoid that fate by waiting until the terms have been finalized to accept the car and take it home. Auto loans make it possible for millions of drivers to purchase new and reliable automobiles. Savvy borrowers who take the time to secure the best loan terms can save themselves substantial amounts of money and still drive the cars of their dreams.

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Fall/Winter Car Care

Local auto businesses give ways to help winterize your car Compiled by Patricia Morrison-Coate We asked Sunnyside Automotive & Towing owner Chris Poirier and Sequim Auto Clinic owner Marv Fowler what they think are the best ways to prepare a car for winter. According to these Sequim businessmen, here are the top five ways to winterize your cars:

1 2 3 4 5

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Replace windshield wipers to prevent streaking when it starts to rain and snow. Check your car’s tire pressure and condition for winter traction; otherwise, hydroplaning can occur. Make sure your vehicle has a good coat of wax; road salt can damage paint, leading to rust. Top off all your vehicle’s fluids and inspect belts for any wear-and-tear. Welcome to Peninsula RV. Come to us for your recreational vehicle needs. We have the largest RV parts inventory on the Olympic Peninsula including many rare items. Our highly experienced, RVIA certified technicians offer many services that will keep your RV rolling in top condition. Looking to buy or sell your RV? Our consignment service can help you sell your RV. Our show lot is highly visible with frontage on Highway 101 just outside of Sequim, Washington. We can list your RV on our website with photos.

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016

Fall/Winter Car Care

The best times of the year to buy a new vehicle By Metrocreative New automobiles are one of the biggest investments many consumers will ever make. Buyers typically look to get the best price on new vehicles, and when buyers begin their search for new vehicles can influence just how great a deal they get. Timing your new car purchase correctly can save you hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. Automotive information experts, such as JD Power and Associates and, note that certain times of the year may be best for cutting a deal.


One of the best and most consistent times to get a great deal on a new car is the end of the year. This is when car dealerships are trying to move the greatest number of vehicles to increase unit sales and annual revenue numbers. In addition, many dealers have annual quotas and offer bonuses to salespeople who meet certain annual sales figures.

If you can wait until the end of December to make your purchase, you very well may drive off the lot with a great deal.


New model year vehicles begin to arrive at dealerships sometime between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. That means the current year models still on the lot become a lot less desirable to customers eagerly awaiting next year’s vehicles. Dealerships are willing to negotiate on the older models and may offer customers cash rebates to make room for the new inventory.


From time to time, auto manufacturers roll out a newly designed car under the same name. The older body type then becomes less desirable, and that is when drivers can get bargains on cars that may have become outdated seemingly overnight. If you’re more interested in saving money than setting trends, wait until the

end of a car’s design cycle to buy. You can save even more if a particular model is being phased out entirely.

ers are trying to sell as many vehicles as possible in an effort to qualify for bonuses from auto manufacturers. If you can’t wait until the end of the year to buy, consider the end of the month. END OF THE MONTH Save money on your next vehicle by Similar to end of year deals, come the end of the month, salespeople and deal- shopping at the right times.


Many auto manufacturers aspire to build customer loyalty. Once a customer is satisfied with the performance and durability of a vehicle, he or she is more likely to purchase or lease cars produced by that vehicle’s manufacturer in the future. Each year, automotive trend reporters categorize those vehicles that command the greatest share of the car-buying market. In 2015, certain vehicles moved up the list, while others maintained their hold on the top spots. According to data through the third quarter of 2015 compiled by automakers and the automotive resource Good Car Bad Car, here are the Top 14 passenger cars of 2015 (excluding trucks and SUVs):

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8. Nissan Versa 9. Chevrolet Malibu 10. Hyundai Sonata 11. Subaru Outback 12. Nissan Sentra 13. Chevrolet Cruze 14. Kia Soul

Fall/Winter Car Care

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016


Snow tires are a worthy investment this winter By Metrocreative


supple even in very cold temperatures, making it easier for the tire to hug the Automotive experts say that snow tires roadways even when those roads are in poor condition. are a worthy investment that improve •  People who live in very cold climaneuverability and stopping power on winter roads. mates and areas where snow and ice Many people leave all-season tires on dominate the landscape for several their vehicles throughout the year, but months per year often find all-season snow tires may help decrease snow-retires are inadequate and likely to slip. Snow tires make for safer alternatives lated accidents and may even help drivers save money on their auto insurance. in such regions. •  Snow tires are typically manufacConsumer Reports says that autumn is the best time to buy snow tires. turered the previous summer, meaning As drivers prepare their vehicles for inventory is finite, according to Conwinter, the following snow tire tutorial sumer Reports. can shed some light on why driving in Drivers who wait until the first snowstorm winter is safer with snow tires. to purchase their snow tires may encoun•  Snow tires are particularly helpful for ter limited inventory and find it difficult to people who cannot wait for roads to be locate the right size tire for their vehicles. cleared before they begin their days. That’s why it’s important to shop early. Snow tires provide greater traction in •  Retire snow tires earlier than you wet, snowy or slushy conditions. would all-season tires. Snow tires provide ample grip and Snow tires lose almost all of their efmake it easier for cars to turn corners fectiveness once they reach 6/32-inch and stop on slick roads. deep tread. •  As the mercury falls, the rubber Snow tires can make roads safer for used to make traditional tires can bedrivers who live in locales with long, come hard and less pliable, compromis- snowy winters. They also are ideal for drivers who ing its ability to grip the road. desire more traction, cornering and However, many snow tires are made with a specialized rubber that remains stopping capacity on winter roadways.


Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016

Fall/Winter Car Care

Do you know snow? Follow these driving tips By Metrocreative Winter comes with a unique set of challenges, including lower air temperatures, lack of visibility, fewer daylight hours, falling snow and, of course, icy roads. These can certainly make for some hazardous driving conditions, which is why experts say you should dig out your ice scraper, gloves and snow shovels before hitting the road. The safest way to prepare for winter driving is to be proactive before an emergency occurs. The following tips will give you some ideas on how to drive safely all winter long:


Roads and drive paths are likely to be covered with rain, sleet, snow and ice, which causes slippery driving conditions

and reduces tire traction. Consider using snow tires in areas where winter weather is severe. It’s important to inspect your tires for uneven wear, cupping and proper tread depth. Also consider the last time you had the tires rotated, balanced and aligned.


Winter weather increases the chance of getting into a car accident. Pack an emergency kit to leave in your vehicle at all times. Consider including safety items such as flares, medical supplies, jumper cables, a flash light, batteries, a small shovel and tire chains. Also consider comfort items like blankets, gloves and snacks.


ibility, creating dangerous driving conditions. Remove all debris from your windshield, windows and outside mirrors before driving. Replace your wiper blades with extreme-weather blades for a stronger wipe to battle heavy rain, snow and ice buildup.

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manual to avoid hard starts, stalling and lost power during colder weather. Keep your gas tank above the halfway mark because empty tanks collect condensation, which damages the engine. Some regions experience heavy snow and dangerous ice storms, others find an increase in rainy conditions, and in some places, temperatures may just cool down a bit. Regardless of location, the winter season brings a climate change that all drivers should consider.

The school buses many Americans are accustomed to seeing in their neighborhoods trace their origins to educator and author Dr. Frank Cyr. Cyr specialized in rural education and, in 1939, organized a conference at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City with the intention of standardizing transportation for students on their way to and from school. Representatives from several notable corporations, including engineers from auto manufacturers Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford and paint experts from DuPont, attended the conference. The fruits of that conference are still paying dividends even now, as one of the more notable developments to result from the conference was the decision to paint buses yellow with black lettering to make them easier to see in the early morning and late afternoon. That decision continues to protect the millions of school children who ride the bus to and from school today.

Fall/Winter Car Care

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016


Explaining the terms listed on window stickers By Metrocreative

•  MSRP: The MSRP, or manufacturer suggested retail price, is the price of the vehicle before any additional charges, including destination charges, are added in. •  Standard equipment: On a window sticker, the basic items the vehicle is equipped with are listed as the standard equipment. This can include a number of items, such as AM/FM radio and heating and cooling systems. The standard equipment listed on the sticker is often broken down into categories, including exterior, interior, safety/ security and warranty information. •  Optional equipment: The special features available, such as leather interior and heated seats, will be listed separately in this category. These features may only be available as part of bundled packages, though some manufacturers allow buyers to add them a la carte. •  Total retail price: The total retail price includes the MSRP and the standard and optional equipment, but it does not include taxes or registration and title fees. •  Safety ratings: Safety ratings also are included on vehicle stickers, and these can shed light on how the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has rated a given vehicle if it has tested that car or truck. If you are unsure of what those terms mean or if the safety ratings are not listed (the NHTSA does not test every new model every year), visit the Insurance Institute for High Safety website at Prospective car buyers may not give new vehicle window stickers more than a passing glance, but these stickers are invaluable sources of information that can shed a great deal of light on a given vehicle and its costs and features.






Buying a new car can be both exciting and confusing. The automotive industry, including manufacturers, dealerships and salespeople, have their own unique lingo, and buyers may not always understand some of the terms they hear as they shop for a new car. Anyone who has ever visited a new car dealership has probably glanced at a new car sticker and felt like something has been lost in translation. Such stickers hang prominently in the windows of all new cars on the lot, but reading them can be akin to reading a complicated legal document. Drivers about to begin their searches for new vehicles may benefit from learning the following terms they might see when reading window stickers at their local auto dealerships. •  Vehicle description: This is typically at the top left or right of the sticker, and it includes information about the vehicle you are looking at. This includes the type of engine and transmission, the interior and exterior colors, the make and model of the vehicle, and its passenger capacity. •  Destination charge: Drivers who have passed auto transport trucks hauling new automobiles on the highway might not know it, but if they ever bought a new vehicle, chances are they helped to pay for the trip those cars made from the manufacturing plant to the dealership lot. That’s because window stickers typically list a destination charge, which is the fee buyers pay to get the vehicle from the plant to the dealership. This might be listed as “Destination & Delivery” on the sticker. •  Fuel economy: Many buyers understand this term when they see it, but they might not know that the figure listed next to fuel economy, which is an estimate of how many miles per gallon a given vehicle gets in the city and on the highway, is determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

These stickers are invaluable sources of information that can shed a great deal of light on a given vehicle and its costs and features.

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016

Fall/Winter Car Care

Making your vehicle less vulnerable to theft By Metrocreative Vehicle theft is something few people imagine happening to them — until it does. While many motorists may think technology has done wonders to curb vehicle theft, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that a motor vehicle is stolen every 46 seconds in the United States. Auto theft is sometimes mistaken as a victimless crime. After all, insured motorists are typically reimbursed for stolen vehicles, and drivers whose cars are returned after being stolen can simply submit a claim to have any damages paid for by their insurers. But this characterization of auto theft is untrue, as all motorists, whether their car’s been stolen or not, pay for auto theft. Curbing auto theft is not necessarily the job of drivers, but there are things motorists can do to reduce the likelihood

that their car will be stolen by opportunistic thieves. •  Avoid keyless ignition systems. Drivers who live in areas that are vulnerable to auto theft may want the peace of mind that comes with traditional keyed ignition systems instead of the more modern and flashy keyless ignition systems. While vehicles with keyed ignition systems are stolen every day, some thieves may find it easier and quicker to steal cars or trucks with keyless ignition systems. Thieves can copy keys used in traditional ignition systems, but that process may require access to the original key and tends to take longer than it takes for thieves to reprogram keyless ignition systems once they’re inside a car. Reprogramming devices are not legal, but they are available and can be used to shut off automobile alarm systems in a matter of seconds.

•  Lock your vehicle at all times. One of the simplest ways to protect a vehicle from prospective thieves is to always lock the windows and doors, even when you’re inside the vehicle. Auto thieves like things to go quickly and smoothly, and locked doors and rolled up windows only complicate things for thieves. Get in the habit of locking the vehicle when you’re driving, as unlocked doors make it easier for carjackers to surprise unsus-

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pecting motorists. •  Park smart. Some motorists like to park far away so their vehicles are not at risk of being dinged or scratched by inattentive drivers and passengers getting into and out of nearby vehicles. Others may simply not have the patience to find parking spots in well-lit areas close to home or storefronts. But thieves may target vehicles parked nowhere near foot or automobile traffic.

Always park in parking garages or other well-lit areas, which deter thieves from breaking in and driving away with your vehicle. •  Etch the VIN onto your windows. Car thieves are not in the auto theft business so they can build a fleet of stolen cars. Upon stealing a car, many car thieves head right for a chop shop, which is a place where stolen cars are disassembled and then sold for parts. By etching the VIN, or vehicle identification number, of your car or truck on your vehicle’s windshield or windows, you may be making your car less attractive to prospective thieves and the chop shops they do business with. Vehicle theft remains a problem even as technology has done much to prevent it. But drivers can take steps to reduce their risk of being victimized by car thieves.


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Fall/Winter Car Care

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016


A well-stocked car kit can be a life-saver

you find yourself in an emergency. Pack a blanket so you and your passengers can stay warm should your car break down at night. In addition, pack some energy bars and bottled water so no one gets too hungry or thirsty while waiting for help to arrive.

It also is good to keep a pair of work gloves in your car so you can still use your tools or change a tire when the temperatures dip or your hands get sweaty on hot days. Information from MetroCreative was used in this article.

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minor injuries that may result if you By Susan Stuart Circle & Square Auto Care, Port Hadlock are in a car accident. Include essential items like adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic We have had such a glorious spring, wipes, aspirin, bandages, a cold comsummer and fall this year, but it is time press, gauze and scissors. to start thinking about winter travel. Visit for a more Winter can be tough on car and extensive list of items to include in your driver, and there are some simple stratfirst-aid kit, which should be kept in egies/tips to help make travel safer and your car at all times. less stressful. • Tools: It’s important to include Check your tires and make sure your tools in your automotive emergency kit. chains fit before the first winter storm. While a full toolbox might be unnecesCheck your tread depth and tire pressary, bring along an adjustable wrench, sure during cold weather. a flat head and Phillips screwdriver, a The best thing to do would have an pair of pliers, a tire jack and crow bar, Automotive Service Excellence-certified an ice scraper and a flashlight. technician use a tire tread depth gauge, Extra roadside flares and reflectors which would be part of a winterization also should be packed should you need scheduled maintenance at most places. to pull over and address an automotive Another option is to insert a quarter problem, such as a flat tire. into the tread of the tire, with George Keep a tire pressure gauge in your Washington’s head upright. glove compartment or with your other If you can see the hairline of the tools so you can check tire pressure if United States’ first president, then you you feel your car is not operating as need to replace the tire. smoothly as it normally does. Perform this test on each of your • Fluids: While it’s best to check all vehicle’s four tires. of your vehicle’s fluids before beginning Remember, tire shops and mechana long trip, it does not hurt to bring ics are busiest just before and during along some extra fluids just in case you winter storms, so planning ahead will start to run low while out on the road. eliminate some of the delay. Fluids to pack include motor oil, Get a vehicle winter maintenance antifreeze, brake fluid and windshield check-up. Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, washer fluid. Include a funnel with these items so hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/ you can easily pour them in should you defroster and wipers. be running low. Keep your fuel tank full; don’t let it Pack an empty spray bottle as well fall below half a tank on winter trips. so you have something to spray washer Program your radio for traffic reports fluid from if a problem arises with your and emergency messages (for WSDOT wiper blades. radio: 530 and 1610 AM). • Wiper blades: Include an extra Add some winter “travel gear,” such as set of wiper blades in your automotive tire chains, ice scraper/snowbrush and emergency kit. jumper cables, and you will be ready to Maintaining wiper blades is an head out with a sense of security and oft-overlooked component of vehicle readiness. maintenance, so bring along an extra Last but not least, keep a basic winter set of blades should your existing blades survival kit in your vehicle. succumb to wear and tear while you’re on the road. PREPARE A CHECKLIST • Miscellaneous items: Some items •  First-aid kit: A first-aid kit can treat cuts and abrasions suffered while that may not seem synonymous with road trips can come in handy should you are out of the car and even some


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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

October 2016

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Special Sections - Car Care, Fall-Winter 2016-2017  


Special Sections - Car Care, Fall-Winter 2016-2017