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Car Care Spring/Summer 2017

PENINSULA COLLEGE AUTO PROGRAM WOMEN ON WHEELS AUTO CLINIC EXPLORING CLASSIC CARS CAR SEAT SAFETY A special supplement produced by Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette


Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

table of contents Car Care

Port Hadlock auto shop gears upcoming clinic toward teaching women car basics

Spring/Summer 2017

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 peninsuladailynews.com | 360-452-2345 sequimgazette.com | 360-683-3311 regional publisher | Terry R. Ward general manager | Steve Perry special sections editors | Patricia Morrison Coate, Brenda Hanrahan and Laura Lofgren

Spring/Summer Car Care

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Peninsula College’s Automotive Program prepares technicians for future

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Follow these child seat regulations; learn how to pick the right seat for your children

Page 10

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Spring/Summer Car Care

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April 2017

Strategies to improve teenage driver safety By METROCREATIVE

Learning to drive and receiving a driver’s license makes for some exciting times for young drivers. Those first moments of freedom on the road open up many new possibilities for teenagers accustomed to relying on their parents to get them around town. Although being a new driver is exciting, it also carries with it very real risk. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, taking the lives of six teens a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Harvard Health Publications states that lack of experience behind the wheel is one factor behind high crash rates among teens, but other factors also might be in play. The prefrontal cortex, which contains the neural mechanisms of self-control, is one of the last parts of the brain to mature. As a result, teenagers are prone to taking risks, behaving impulsively and seeking sensation. These traits can be dangerous behind the wheel of a car. Preventing teenage driving accidents requires some measure of dedication, awareness and education. IMPROVE DRIVING SKILLS A driver’s license does not mean drivers have learned all there is to know about driving. In fact, newly licensed drivers still have a lot to learn. Experience only comes with time and practice, and every day presents teen drivers with a new opportunity to expand their skills. WATCH THE SPEED LIMIT Speeding makes it more difficult to control a vehicle.

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Obey the speed limit and recognize speed limits are suggestions during ideal driving conditions. When driving in inclement weather, reduce speed, even if that means driving below the speed limit. REDUCE DISTRACTIONS When driving, reduce distractions inside of the car. This includes eating or talking on the phone while driving. It also means fiddling with the radio or checking social media. The CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance-United States, 2015, states that 42 percent of high school students who drive report texting or emailing while driving. Texting while driving creates conditions similar to drinking or using drugs while behind the wheel. AVOID PEER PASSENGERS Teens should avoid having other teens or younger children as passengers in their first year as licensed drivers. Other kids can be an added source of distraction inside of the vehicle and might goad drivers into behaviors they would otherwise avoid. Teens should wait until they gain more experience behind the wheel before they start to hone their chauffeur skills. STICK TO DAYTIME DRIVING Driving at night can make it much more difficult for drivers to see their surroundings and recognize potential hazards. Within the first few months of earning their licenses, teenagers should drive only during the daytime and log plenty of practice hours driving at night accompanied by an adult until they feel more confident.

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

Looking for a hobby?

Spring/Summer Car Care

Try exploring classic/historical cars

By METROCREATIVE & PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Car enthusiasts appeared as soon as early automobiles were introduced to the general public in the 18th and 19th centuries. Through the years, certain vehicles have proven more desireable to customers than others based on their looks and other attributes. Auto hobbyists devote substantial time and effort to purchasing, restoring and displaying classic cars. While the hobby of restoring classic cars is not necessarily for everyone, its popularity suggests it’s an activity that’s here to stay. According to an article in The Economist, in the wake of the recent recession, investors were increasingly pulling their money out of stocks and converting assets into tangible items, such as classic cars. As late as 2013, collector cars were outperforming other tangible investments such as art, wine, stamps and coins by large margins. Those ready to dip their toes in the classic car waters should understand a few key factors that can affect how much they enjoy this potentially rewarding hobby. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS Some collectors face challenges when attempting to restore classic vehicles because the cars do not meet today’s stringent clean air initiatives that govern automobiles. With the increasing number of new, clean cars on the road, vehicles that fail to meet modern emissions standards might pose a costly problem to classic car collectors.

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INTRODUCTION OF ALTERNATIVE FUELS As governments increasingly emphasize the importance of clean fuel options, classic car owners might find it challenging to find more traditional fuels or face the added expense of adapting their vehicles to run on alternative fuels. LACK OF MECHANICAL EXPERTISE Workers in the automotive trade are trained to manufacture and repair new vehicles. As a result, classic car owners without much mechanical ability of their own might find it difficult to find mechanics with the skills necessary to repair and restore classic cars. HISTORIC REQUIREMENTS SHOULD BE HEEDED Each state has its own requirements governing classic cars. To qualify for historic vehicle registration, vehicles might need to be 25 years or older, owned solely as a collector’s item and used exclusively for exhibition and educational purposes. When driven for personal use, such vehicles might not be allowed to exceed 1,000 miles per year. The North Olympic Peninsula has a multitude of car enthusiasts. In Port Townsend, Double M Ranch specializes in Morris Minor restoration. Owner Rob Gruye’s shop specializes in restoring the classic British cars, built between 1949 and 1971. In Port Angeles, the Peninsula Dream Machines is a small group of individuals who wanted to “create a place where people can share their love and deep respect for the four-wheeled chariots that catch the eye, turn the head and carry your dreams,” according to its website, www.peninsuladreammachines.org. Also in Port Angeles is North Olympic Mustangs. The group specializes in — you guessed it — Ford Mustangs. If you’re in a preliminary phase of classic car hobbying, check out their 34th annual Show & Shine, slated for Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7. The cruise starts at 11 a.m. that Saturday from the Price Ford Parking lot, located at 3311 U.S. Highway 101. Show registration begins at 9 a.m. that Sunday, with prizes to be awarded at 3 p.m. Visit www.northolympicmustangs.com for more information about the club and car show. Looking for more action? West End Thunder in Forks is the drag-racing enthusiast club on the Peninsula. Get club information, the 2017 race schedule and more at www.westendthunder.com. Classic cars continue to attract hobbyists from all over the Peninsula and the globe. Restoring classic cars can be a rewarding pastime, but one that involves dedication and an investment of both time and money.


Spring/Summer Car Care

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

Auto clinic geared toward women slated have to be customers of Circle & Square Auto Care. “Circle & Square Auto Care is not Circle & Square Auto Care, located at only committed to providing excellent 10953 Rhody Drive in Port Hadlock, will care of your vehicle, but is also commitoffer a Women on Wheels auto clinic ted to providing ongoing driver educathis month. tion to help you anticipate potential The clinic will take place from 11 a.m. safety issues with your vehicle,” she to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22. said in an email to Peninsula Daily ASE- (Automotive Service Excellence) News. certified technicians, with their handsStewart and her husband, Lloy on training, will teach women how to Drinkard, bought the auto business in change a tire using a jack and a spare 2014. tire; how to check tire pressure; how to “My husband owned a shop in Seattle check tire tread; how to recognize, locate for 30-some years,” Stewart said, “and and change fuses; how to check vehicle when we moved to the area ... we purfluid level/condition; how to jump a chased the business. battery; and how to perform a vehicle “My feeling has always been that lighting inspection. walking into a car repair shop has been a Attendees also will learn important bit daunting. I wanted to make our shop safety procedures. ‘women-user friendly.’ I thought the best According to owner Susan Stewart, the workshop “is geared toward educat- way to help women feel more comfortable is to help them learn a bit about their ing women on the ‘mysteries’ of their car so they are informed consumers and car so that they can feel better about the decisions they make when faced with empowered automobile owners.” repairs/maintenance decisions.” Every participant will receive an Stewart continued, “I wanted the automotive safety kit and a W.O.W. workshop to help alleviate some of the (Women on Wheels) T-shirt. anxiety and stress of car ownership Stewart said the attendees do not

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By PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Stock image

for women in our community. I like the hands-on idea and the ability for the participants to actually see a shop (more than the reception area) and talk directly to an ASE-certified mechanic

and have the opportunity to ask questions in an informal and fun way.” The Women On Wheels auto clinic is free, but space is limited. Phone 360385-2070 to register.

7041833333

141 Kemp St, Port Angeles • (360) 457-5267 • MON - FRI 8AM–5PM


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April 2017

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Spring/Summer Car Care

PC’s Automotive Technology program prepares technicians for the future Story and photos by PATRICIA MORRISON COATE

The garage looks like any other large auto repair shop — guys and a gal with oil-smudged hands hovering over opened engines with the tools of their trade. Eight vehicles, from pickups to SUVs and sedans, are being repaired cooperatively by students from ages 16-65. Since the muscle car era, Peninsula College’s Automotive Technology course has been cranking out accredited technicians in its two-year degree program. “The program started in 1969 because there was a lack of technicians in the U.S.,” said Mike Hansen, program coordinator. “We teach all eight categories of NATEF [National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation] engine repair: automatic transmissions, manual transmissions, drive trains, HVAC, electrical and electronic systems, engine performance, steering and suspension and brake systems.” Hansen noted that the college’s program is one of four in the Pacific Northwest that also requires its students to earn academic certification in language arts, science and mathematics. “Most programs don’t go that deep,” Hansen said. “We average 30 to 45 students per year between our firstand second-year classes, with both men and women. This quarter we have one woman, but last year we had three and average two to three women every year.” Hansen was in the third class to graduate from the Automotive Technology program in 1976, and he began teaching at Peninsula College (PC) in 2001. He’s earned accreditation with the Society of Automotive Engineers International as a Level I advanced hybrid and electric vehicle technician. The 62-year-old Hansen is a full-time instructor assisted by Kevin Phillips and Doug Lorentzen, who teach the technical courses, plus Hal Costello, who is in charge of the language arts, science and mathmatics curriculum requirements. Being in a NATEF program, which offers accreditation for automotive technician training programs, “brings students up to ASE [Automotive Service Excellence] standards so they can qualify to take the ASE tests,” Hansen said. “It’s not required, but most shops give bonuses for every ASE test [in the eight categories] they have passed. We encourage students take the test as soon as they’re done with the class.” Of potential students, Hansen said, “They need to be able to do basic high school math and algebra, have good communication skills and have to be mechanically inclined — either they have it or they don’t. If they can understand mechanics, we can teach them the rest.” HANDS-ON HITS THE MARK One such student who has those skills and more

Instructor Mike Hansen works with Cody Berry to seal a timing belt cover before reinstalling an oil pan during a recent Peninsula College Automotive Technology course.

students a mechanic throws parts at a car until it is fixed; a “ I tell mytechnician diagnoses it and fixes it right the first time. ” — Mike Hansen, Peninsula College Automotive Technology program coordinator

is 23-year-old Brittany Baker, who will finish up the program in June after completing the manual transmission category. Since the age of 5, Baker was inspired to work on cars because her father had a race track, she said. “I like the hands-on work, and I got into this program because it is hands-on. Here you get to just jump right into it,” Baker said. “The electrical is my favorite category because of the diagnosing, the wiring diagrams. With electrical, you really have to dig deeper.”

Because of her bank of knowledge in and outside of the program, Baker has been working in the field for about a year at Rudy’s Automotive in Port Angeles. “I do everything — adjust valves, water pumps, electrical — it’s different when you’re working on your own stuff rather than somebody else’s. If something went wrong on my car, I did it myself.” As the only woman in the program this quarter, Baker is nonchalant. AUTO continued on 7 >>


Spring/Summer Car Care

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

7

Brittany Baker, left, and Jack Kulver cut valve seats in a cylinder head.

recommended by an outside agency like First Step who don’t have a means of “There are a lot more guys but nobody paying. They apply through that prothinks of it any differently. Most of the gram, and we have a sliding fee for our guys are pretty encouraging about me labor rates,” Hansen said. being here and it kind of helps that I Typically, the social service agency do better than most of them,” Baker pays for the parts but historically the grinned. “A lot of students come and ask labor has been completely waived. Howme questions.” ever, the work has to coincide with the Upbeat and outgoing, Baker said, “I’m subject that’s being taught, according to able to look forward to every day. I get Hansen. the learning experience and if I had not Also through the foundation, there’s a been in the program, I would not have giveaway program at the Port Angeles, the job I have now. Sequim and Forks campuses in which “My hope is that when I’m done, I will a road-ready vehicle is presented to a be making a more livable wage. The deserving student. program has given me the experience to “Normally, there’s no cost except for learn and grow. I don’t expect instantly transferring and licensing. We gave away to make $25 an hour — I have to earn a lift van to a Forks student, and we’re that privilege.” ready to give away another vehicle,” HanShe also has high praise for the staff. sen said. “Since 2005, we’ve given away “It’s a good program run by a lot of 25. We safety check them and the student good guys — they definitely push for peo- is responsible for the maintenance.” ple to succeed. They really do set you up to succeed, and Mike sets up a lot of stuff MODERN MECHANICS so people can learn this program and “Our students are well-versed into have it lead to a job,” Baker concluded. the electronics of every vehicle and learn to use factory and generic scan PAYING IT FORWARD tools and scopes, which provides real A huge component of the program is time electrical information,” Hansen the complementary hands-on experisaid. “The scan unit plugs into the car ence in the lab with instructors getting and accesses the car’s computers — their hands dirty, too, as they answer some have 25. We’ve also been bringing questions and advise. in advanced vehicle technology such as “The cars come from manufacturers hybrids, electric, fuel cells and gaseous such as Ford and GM, so they’re fairly fuels such as propane and natural gas.” new vehicles to work on; people also The technology of automotive repair donate them to the Peninsula College is becoming more and more complex Foundation, and we do work for students, so Hansen and the other instructors faculty and staff,” Hansen explained. ensure students have lots of exposure to “We won’t take work away from any today’s highly computerized vehicles. shop in town, but we do have a proAUTO continued on 10 >> gram through the foundation for people

<< AUTO continued from 6

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

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Starting at

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Installed Plus $25 Mail-In Rebate

Coupons valid at Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center located at Price Ford. Plus tax, not valid with any other offer, please present at time of write-up. Diesel and some vehicles may be slightly higher. See consultant for details. Offer Expires 3-31-17

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Coupons valid at Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center located at Price Ford. Plus tax, not valid with any other offer, please present at time of write-up. Expires 5/31/17.

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Includes: All Parts & Labor. Some vehicles may be slightly higher. See your Advisor for details.

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Coupons valid at Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center located at Price Ford. Plus tax, not valid with any other offer, please present at time of write-up. Expires 5/31/16.

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

Spring/Summer Car Care

Follow these child safety seat regulations By METROCREATIVE

Protecting young children in automobiles should be of the utmost importance for parents when on the road. Studies have shown that children who are seated in age- and sizeappropriate vehicle restraint systems may be at a significantly lower risk of sustaining serious or fatal injuries during motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic crashes account for the leading cause of death among children in the United States. Because of their diminutive statures, kids who suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents may fair far worse than adults who suffer similar injuries. While many parents understand the need for proper child safety seats, keeping up-to-date on regulations can be challenging; however, infant seats, convertible seats and booster seats can mean the difference between minor injuries and fatality in the event of accidents. U.S. REGULATIONS The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute states that all 50 states and the District of Columbia have child safety seat laws. Child safety seat laws require that children travel in approved child restraints or booster seats, and some permit or require older children to use adult safety belts. For up-to-date regulations regarding specific states or U.S. territories, drivers can consult with their state’s or territory’s Highway Safety Offices. These offices will provide detailed explanations of height and weight limits and when children can be moved 741832947

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THE RIGHT CAR SEAT MAKES FOR A SAFER RIDE FOR CHILDREN No matter what is stored in the trunk, a driver’s most precious cargo is his or her passengers. Never is that more apparent than when children are on board. Finding the right car seat can be challenging. When used correctly, such seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent, according the Safe Kids Worldwide organization. Whether you are buying a car seat for the first time or upgrading an existing seat as your child grows, being informed can help with the decisionmaking process. Access professional reviews A number of organizations rate available car seats on the market. Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are just two of the groups that provide ratings that can take the guesswork out of selecting the best car seats. Regulations change frequently, and car seat engineers continually modify designs to keep kids as safe as possible. Frequently revisit car seat reviews to check whether your seat is still receiving high marks or if it’s time to invest in a new car seat. Rear-facing, longer Many experts now advise keeping children in rear-facing car seats as long between seats. For example, in New Jersey, children under 2 years of age and under 30 pounds must ride in rear-facing infant seats. Children who are under 40 pounds

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as possible — ­ even up to age two. These seats are being manufacturered to meet higher weight limits in the rear-facing position; however, always verify the exact height and weight limit for the seat by reading the information booklet or the safety data that is printed directly on the seat. In addition, know how to safely use the seat, including which tethers should be used in which seating positions. Children should sit in the back of the vehicle away from airbags. Learn proper installation Consumer Reports notes that about 80 percent of parents and caregivers misuse car seats in one way or another. Follow the directions for safe seat placement and positioning of tethers and safety belts. You can watch videos online on how to install safety seats properly, and many seat brands may direct you to an informational video. Some First Aid and police squads offer complimentary seat checks to reassure parents that seats are installed correctly. Older children in booster seats, which are designed to position passengers correctly to make use of the vehicle’s seat belts, should have a proper fit. The lap belt should lie flat and on top of the thighs. The shoulder belt should and up to 4 years of age can be moved to forward-facing seats only if they have exceeded the weight limits of rearfacing seats. Children under the age of 8 and a height of 57 inches may move to a belt-

rest directly in the middle of the shoulder and not too close to the neck. Know the types of seats Children may go through three or more safety seats before they’re allowed to safely ride using the vehicle’s own passenger restraint system. In addition to infant car seats, manufacturers offer convertible seats, harnessed seats, belt-positioning booster seats, and built-in safety seats. Many children are ready to bid farewell to car seats when they reach about 4-feet-9-inches tall. Avoid used seats Unless you can verify the full crash history of a car seat, it is best to buy it new rather than from a thrift store or on the Internet from a third party. Although car seats do not “expire” in the traditional sense, they are stamped with a use-by date. Materials in car seats can degrade over time, and harnesses may stretch. It’s wise to replace car seats after several years and treat a new baby in the family to his or her own car seat instead of using a hand-me-down. Car seats can prevent injuries and death. They’re one of the best safety investments parents can make, as long as they’re researched and used properly. positioning booster seat. Once children grow taller than 57 inches or reach age 8, it is safe for them to ride in properly secured seat belts. Proper safety seat use reduces the propensity for child injuries.

<< AUTO continued from 7

“There’s a nationwide shortage of technicians because there’s a high demand. Last week I read there are 650,000 openings and why that’s so is the fact that there are a lot more cars and they’re way more complicated,” Hansen said. “When I started teaching in 2001, there were more changes from 1990-2000 than in the first 100 years of auto repair and it’s probably changed that much more since 2010. Everything is electronically driven — there’s so much technology — and you’re not finding as many in the field. You can’t just grab any body off the

street — there are huge skill sets now — and you have to understand how vehicles vary from model to model.” Locally, Hansen said dealerships always are looking for certified technicians but that the independent shops generally are fully staffed. Students in the Automotive Technology program graduate after two years with two degrees: an associate of applied science degree and an associate of applied science transfer degree so they can pursue their education at a fouryear college or university.


Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Spring/Summer Car Care

April 2017

11

Want a more organized, functional garage? Follow these simple steps to help clear clutter By METROCREATIVE

Organized garages that are free of clutter can serve as valuable work spaces for handy homeowners. Organization can help homeowners transform their homes into less cramped, more spacious oases without forcing them to finance potentially expensive expansion projects. Homeowners who park in their driveways might find that their garages have become crowded, cluttered spaces in which searching for tools can feel like scouring a haystack in search of a needle. Organizing a garage can create extra room in a home while affording homeowners the chance to protect their vehicles from the elements. Homeowners who want to turn their garages into something more than cluttered storage units can employ the following strategies to transform these largely overlooked areas into more valuable spaces. CHOOSE THE RIGHT DAY Garages tend to be separate from the rest of the homes they’re a part of, meaning the only way to organize a garage is to first remove all items from the garage and into the driveway. Because items removed from the garage will be

exposed to the elements, homeowners should choose a day that’s temperate and sunny to clean their garages. If possible, homeowners should opt to organize their garages in late spring, summer or early fall when there are additional hours of daylight. This protects homeowners from having to work in the dark should the job take longer than they initially anticipated. DISCARD OR DONATE DUPLICATE ITEMS Duplicate items are some of the main culprits behind cluttered garages. As garages gradually become more cluttered, homeowners might buy tools they already have simply because they cannot find their original tools. When organizing the garage, create separate piles for duplicate tools, placing still-useful items in a pile that can be donated to neighbors, local charities or organizations and another pile for old tools that are no longer useful. HOST A GARAGE SALE Homeowners who want to organize their garages and make a buck at the same time can host garage sales. Make only those items that are still functional

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available for purchase, and let neighbors and bargain hunters do the bulk of your organization work for you. DESIGNATE AREAS FOR CERTAIN ITEMS Once the items that won’t be going back into the garage have been sold, donated or discarded, organize the garage by designating areas for certain items, making sure to separate items that can pose safety risks. For example, store kids’ bicycles and outdoor toys in a corner of the garage that is opposite the corner where potentially dangerous items such as power tools and gas cans will be stored. Keep the center of the garage open for vehicles. PERIODICALLY PARK CARS IN THE GARAGE Homeowners who are comfortable parking their vehicles in their driveways can improve their chances of maintaining organized garages over the long haul by periodically parking in the garage. Doing so not only prevents the gradual buildup of clutter that can slowly take over a garage, but also protects homeowners’ automotive investments. Maintaining an organized garage can help homeowners make more practical use of the space in their homes.

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

Spring/Summer Car Care

Examining the future of connected cars

touchscreens. While entertainment and safety have led the way with connected cars thus far, the future of connectivity seems to be autonomous vehicles. In the not-so-distant future, vehicles might be much more hands-off for drivers. Driving might even become a thing of the past. The race has been on throughout the past several years to deliver the first fully-autonomous vehicle. According to the technology company CB Insights, as of 2016, 33 corporations have been working on autonomous vehicles. From Apple to Audi to Tesla to Honda to Google, automotive heavyweights and technology giants are among the pool of self-driving innovators. Vehicles are more technologically advanced than ever before. Driving the future of automotive innovation are connected cars pushing closer and closer to full autonomy.

By METROCREATIVE

Fans of the “Back to the Future” movie franchise might be disappointed that the film’s prediction that flying vehicles would be commonplace in the 21st century has not yet come to fruition; however, the modern-day automobile is a remarkably far cry from cars and trucks built as recently as 10 years ago. Connected cars have become incredibly popular as interest in digital content continues to rise. A connected vehicle is one that is equipped with internet access and typically a wireless local area network. Connected cars can be viewed as a smartphone on wheels. They perform many of the capabilities of other mobile devices, with the vehicle serving as the media hub. General Motors was one of the first manufacturers to produce connected cars. In 1996, their premium brands Cadillac DeVille, Seville and Eldorado featured a technology called OnStar. The primary purpose of OnStar was to get emergency service to a vehicle quickly in the event of an accident. The technology started with only voice, but when cellular systems added data, the system was able to send the GPS location to the call center. OnStar was eventually used for more than just emergency calls, ultimately expanding to perform remote vehicle diagnostics, and then to provide directions and more user-interactive features. Other manufacturers soon followed suit, and data and voice features became popular add-ons for vehicles. Today’s connected cars are equipped with features such as in-car entertainment units.

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Via their dashboards, drivers can use touch screens to access apps on their smartphones and answer phone calls. Navigation, roadside assistance, voice commands, contextual help/offers, parking apps, engine controls and car diagnostics also can be accessed via many

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Through the years, cars have evolved so much that certain parts once integral to their operation have now become obsolete. Only time will tell which components and features of today’s cars will disappear in the future; however, present drivers can reminisce about how cars have evolved even in the past 20 to 30 years. The following are some once-standard parts and features that have all but disappeared from modern vehicles: •  Ashtrays and cigarette lighters: Smoking-related accessories began to vanish as the dangers of smoking became more apparent. Ashtrays in the dashboard and in the rear armrests are no longer standard. •  Full-sized spare tire: The “doughnuts” of today can be driven on for only limited distances and look awkward on larger vehicles. The full-sized spare enabled drivers to repair the flat tire on their own schedules. •  Control knobs: Push buttons and digital dashes have replaced the manual knobs of the past. Levers often enabled drivers to adjust the heat without taking their eyes off the road. •  Bench seats: Front bench seats have given way to two seats separated by a center console. No longer is it possible to fit three or four people in the front of a vehicle. •  Whip antenna: Remember those thin, flexible antennas? Many modern vehicles feature more solid antennas that can be unscrewed for trips through the carwash or an antenna that is modeled into the car in an inconspicuous way. If drivers exhibit a preference for satellite radio in the years ahead, traditional antennas might soon become obsolete as well.


Spring/Summer Car Care

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

Simple maintenance — especially on tires — a key component of spring check-ups

By METROCREATIVE

When warm weather arrives, many people enjoy a collective sigh of relief. Just as people welcome the end of the cold, snow and ice, cars and trucks also can benefit from more moderate temperatures. Salt, grime and pot holes can take a toll on tires throughout the course of a typical winter. Drivers will not get far this spring and summer without tires in good repair, which is why tire maintenance should be part of any seasonal repair checklist. INFLATION LEVELS Now is the time to use a tire pressure gauge to see if tires are at the ideal inflation levels. Many tires indicate the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) on their sidewalls. Cold temperatures might cause tires to deflate a little. Esurance states that winter weather can cause tire pressure reduction at about one PSI for every 10 degrees the temperature drops. Driving on improperly inflated tires can be dangerous, potentially affecting handling and braking distances. Check tires when they are cold for the most accurate reading. Properly inflated tires also will improve fuel economy, so drivers might even save a little money by inflating their tires.

cars need oil changes.

COOLANT LEVELS Coolant helps prevent vehicles from overheating and also prevents the water TIRE REPLACEMENT that it mixes with in the radiator from Drivers might discover extreme tread freezing or boiling. wear, bulges or even cracks in the sideCoolant is nearly as important as mowall during a tire inspection. tor oil in vehicle maintenance. These signs indicate that it’s time to Coolant is typically comprised of replace the tires. a 50/50 mix of distilled water and Failing to replace old, worn down tires antifreeze. can increase the risk of automobile acThese two substances work together cidents. to maintain a proper ratio of heat energy and prevent eventual breakdown THOROUGH CLEANING and destruction of the engine. Once tires are inspected and possibly Coolant is usually changed once per serviced or replaced, treat the car or year or at 30,000 miles. This keeps the truck to a washing and thorough detailcoolant working properly and will help ing. This will help tires shine and get prevent corrosion and deposits from the vehicle road-ready for spring trips. forming inside the cooling system. Oil checks and changes are vital to engine health. One of the ways to keep vehicles running strong for years on end is to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Although there are many factors drivers cannot control, including recalls, weather and road conditions, proper maintenance is something drivers can control, and maintaining a vehicle can be very simple. OIL CHANGES Motor oil lubricates the engine and keeps it in good working order. Old oil becomes more viscous and can lose its efficacy. While changing motor oil is important, motorists should follow the owner’s manual or the factory maintenance schedule regarding how often it needs to be changed, as all vehicles are not alike. The old myth that cars and trucks need oil changes at set intervals has changed as digital check capabilities have evolved. Car computers can now keep track of more than just mileage. Computers now track starts and stops and trip durations to determine when

Coolant levels might be checked during a full-service oil change appointment. CHECK BATTERY CONTACTS Many modern car batteries do not require a lot of maintenance; however, one problem that might occur is a buildup of minerals or corrosion from leaking battery fluid on the contacts. In such instances, use a battery cleaning brush to clean the contacts and then replace the cables. Maintaining a vehicle in adherence to manufacturer guidelines can prolong the life of the car, improve its safety and increase its trade-in or resale value.

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TIRE ROTATION/REALIGNMENT Examine the tires for tread wear. Any uneven or abnormal tread wear could indicate that the tires need to be rotated and the wheels realigned at the very least. Take the vehicle to a qualified mechanic to get their opinion on how to remedy the situation. Mechanics might recommend rotating tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, or about every six months for the average driver. Wheel realignment might be necessary after a season of driving over potholes

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2017

Spring/Summer Car Care

SEE AND BE SEEN: How drivers can see

better at night, make themselves more visible By METROCREATIVE

Though fewer cars are on the road at night than during the daytime, driving at night is still dangerous. In fact, the National Safety Council notes that drivers’ risk of being in fatal car crashes is three times greater at night than it is during the daytime. While a host of factors combine to make driving at night less safe than driving during the daytime, poor nighttime visibility is one of the biggest contributors to driver discomfort at night. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can diminish at night. Though many drivers recognize that their own visibility is compromised at night, few might consider that other motorists’ nighttime visibility is similarly affected. Fortunately, there are a handful of ways that drivers can improve their visibility and make themselves more visible to fellow motorists when operating motor vehicles after the sun goes down. GET ENOUGH SLEEP A recent poll from the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that 13 percent of drivers acknowledged falling asleep while driving at least once per month. Poorly lit roadways and the absence of natural light can make tired drivers even more drowsy, further compromising their already diminished visibility. The NSF advises drivers to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, to avoid driving if they have been awake for 24 hours or more and to pull over

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throughout the life of the lights. LEDs also can brighten up interior lights, such as courtesy, dome, trunk and glove box. In addition, Vision LEDs were designed to be highly resistant to the extreme heat and vibrations that threaten standard incandescent bulbs, thereby increasing their durability and longevity. GET ROUTINE VISION CHECKUPS Vision checkups are necessary for all drivers, but especially so for aging motorists. According to the American Optometric Association, the diminished vision that many drivers experience when driving at night increases with age, highlighting the importance of annual vision checkups. The American Osteopathic Association also recommends that drivers minimize distractions when driving at night so they can better focus on the road ahead. MAKE YOUR VEHICLE MORE VISIBLE Even drivers who are comfortable driving at night must share the roads with other motorists, who might not be as relaxed driving after sundown. Philips Vision LEDs turn on instantly and can be installed as replacements for manufacturers’ brake and taillights, side markers, turn signals and back up lights, making vehicles more visible to fellow motorists and greatly decreasing reaction time. Brighter and therefore more visible to fellow drivers than standard incandescent bulbs, Vision LEDs employ instant-on response technology that can reduce braking distance by up to 20 feet at speeds as high as 75 mph. Drivers who are uncomfortable driving at night can employ several strategies to alleviate that discomfort.


Spring/Summer Car Care

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

How ethanol can impact an engine By NEWSUSA

15

WET WEATHER DRIVING TIPS Driving in the rain can be more hazardous than driving in the snow, particularly because drivers fail to realize the dangers wet roads can impose. After averaging 10 years of statistics, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 46 percent of weather-related crashes happened during rainfall, but just 17 percent occurred while it was snowing or sleeting. Drivers often think rain is no big deal, but while it’s not necessary to avoid driving when the raindrops begin to fall, exercising caution when the roads are wet can decrease the risk of being in an auto accident. •  Slow down. Wet roadways cause tires to lose traction, as friction is reduced between the rubber and the asphalt. It’s possible to lose up to one-third of traction in the rain. To compensate, slow down to reduce sliding and stopping distances. •  Improve visibility. Turn on windshield wipers and lights when it is raining. This makes it easier to see the road and makes your vehicle more visible to other motorists. •  Leave more distance between cars. In addition to improving your reaction time, giving others more space can improve visibility by reducing the amount of mist or splashing caused by other vehicles. •  Stick to daytime driving. If possible, when it is raining, drive only during the day. Glare from wet roadways and headlights at night can further compromise poor visibility. •  Watch for wind gusts. Anticipate gusts when traveling through windy road corridors or over bridges.

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•  Turn it on: Start up your stored classic car, boat and seasonal equipment, such as lawn mowers or snow blowers a few times during the off-season months to ensure they are running smoothly. •  Tank it up: Cars, lawn mowers, snow blowers, boats, and other gasolinepowered tools and vehicles should keep their tanks at 95 percent full with fuel, and add a fuel stabilizer if they are to sit unused for a long time. This strategy helps prevent condensation while allowing room for expansion in warmer weather. •  Trust your source: Buy fuel from a reputable gas station. A station with a quick turnover of their products helps ensure that the gasoline is fresh. •  Test the lines: Rubber fuel lines dating from before the mid-1980s should be inspected. These lines might not be compatible with ethanol-blended fuel, and might need to be replaced.

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When consumers fill their tanks at the gas station, they will see signs reading “may contain 10 percent ethanol;” however, many don’t know what this means or how it can affect their engine performance. Ethanol-blended fuel has become standard in the United States, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently mandated an increase in the amount of ethanol added to fuel, meaning it is even more important that consumers understand the pros and cons of ethanol. Ethanol is a biofuel distilled from corn and sugar that has many benefits, including reducing greenhouse emissions and lowering the cost of fuel at the pump; however, ethanol-blended fuel can also have negative side effects on your car, boat and small engines, such as lawnmowers and snowblowers, over time. Some signs that ethanol is affecting your engine’s performance include: •  Efficiency: Ethanol-blended fuel’s lower energy efficiency might reduce fuel economy of your engine. •  Stalling: Ethanol can cause engine stalling if the water in the ethanol separates from the gasoline and floods the engine. This problem is most likely in engines that sit unused for long periods of time. •  Corrosion: Ethanol can contribute to corrosion of fuel tanks and other components, and the risk is even greater with small engines with aluminum parts. •  Clogging: Ethanol can loosen debris in the fuel line that leads to clogs. Fortunately, there are several easy things you can do to help protect your engine from ethanol-related side effects. •  Treatment: Using a non-alcohol based fuel stabilizer and treatment product, such as STA-BIL 360 Performance, can help protect gas-powered engines. A stabilizer might be especially beneficial for engines that sit for long periods without starting. Stabilizers are designed to absorb the excess water that might be present if ethanol begins to separate from gasoline and protect the insides of the fuel tank and parts.

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Special Sections - Car Care, Spring-Summer 2017  

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