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What You Need to Know

Your complete online resource for consumer education related to our industry.

Our new Consumer Education web page is dedicated to you ... the NOCO driver.  Here you will find facts, figures, research, etc., all geared at making you a safer, more aware and we hope ... highly educated driver. As they often say, "knowledge is power" and we hope you find the information provided here ... powerful.

Whether you're an experienced driver or new to the roads, our Consumer Education webpage will help you navigate your way on the highways and by-ways of Northern Colorado (NOCO).

Colorado Department Of Transportation (CDOT) Seasonal Colorado Driving Conditions:
Did you know ... that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) provides seasonal driving conditions on their CO Trip website?  That's right!  The CDOT website provides a wealth of information for Colorado drivers related to seasonal driving conditions and more.  You can find the CDOT CO Trip website here.

 

10 Simple Summer Car Care Tips:
Summer can be a brutal season on your vehicle.  Proper maintenance at the beginning, middle, and end of the summer will ensure the safety of you and your family.  Don't hit the road this summer without reading these 10 Simple Summer Car Care Tips, courtesy of Auto Trader.

1.  Coolant System.  Keeping cool is paramount, not just for ourselves but also for our cars. In addition to checking the level of coolant fluid in your car, go the extra mile and inspect the state of the hoses and the coolant reservoir. Keep an eye out for leaks, especially at joints and connection points, such as where a hose connects to the engine block. Also, squeeze the hoses (when the engine is cool) every once in a while to make sure they feel firm and not excessively squishy or soft.

2.  Engine Belts.  There is usually a serpentine belt that runs between the alternator, the fan, and several other components. It can deteriorate, become loose, start to squeal, and sometimes just break for no apparent reason. It needs to be in good condition and at the right amount of tension. If you see cracks in the belt or small pieces missing, it's time to replace the belt.

3.  Wipers.  Yes, it's summer, but it's probably going to rain at some point. Worn wipers create nasty streaks across the windshield and can affect your vision while driving. Replacing them doesn't cost much, but it can be a fiddly operation. If you're in the habit of taking your car in for oil changes, ask them about the wipers, too. Sometimes a dealership will sell you the wipers and install them for free.

4.  Other Essential Fluids.  Check oil, brake, power steering and windshield washer fluids regularly. These liquids never stop being used and consumed. Speaking of brake fluid, how do the brakes on your car feel in general? Are they feeling a bit spongy? If so, new pads and a system bleed might be required. This is the kind of maintenance you should have your mechanic or dealership take care of.

For more information and additional tips, check out the full article at Auto Trader.

Source:  (Auto Trader).

Summer Maintenance Tips

 

Spring Driving Tips:
Spring showers may bring May flowers, but they also bring with them, a host of seasonal driving issues.  Check out these great spring driving tips, courtesy of the Travelers Insurance Company.  Per the Travelers Insurance Company 'Spring Driving Tips' checklist ...

1.  Keep an eye out for pedestrians, especially with warmer days ahead.  The number of people walking and biking along and on the roadways increases as temperatures rise.

2.  Spring heralds road construction season.  While driving, be vigilant, be on the lookout for an increased number of construction vehicles and personnel on the road. 

3.  Weather is often a factor while driving, especially in the spring.  Heavy rainfall and even hail can create hazardous driving conditions.  Download your favorite weather app and listen for weather alerts prior to getting in the car.

For more information and additional tips, check out the full article at Travelers Insurance Company.

Source:  (Travelers Insurance Company).

 

How To Spot Black Ice:
Black ice forms when the air is at 32 degrees or below at the surface and rain is falling, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Andrew Mussoline. The ground temperature causes the precipitation to freeze upon impact, thus creating ice. Sleet and the refreezing of snow or water can also generate black ice. This type of ice gets its name from its ability to blend in with its surroundings. It's called black ice because it tends to look like the rest of the pavement on the road, but it's actually clear. The complexion of black ice makes it extremely difficult to spot, but using a car thermometer as an initial gauge can be helpful in determining the road conditions. A car thermometer, like any digital thermometer, tries to find the air's ambient temperature. So, if a vehicle's thermometer is close to freezing, the car driver should be cautious on the roads. While the sensors themselves are usually very accurate, their placement on a vehicle can make them less reliable. Located outside the car, behind the front bumper, these sensors sometimes pick up heat from the car's engine, resulting in a higher temperature reading, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Frank Strait. In addition, these thermometers can also read lower if rainwater hits the sensors and evaporates while the car is at a higher speed. Overall, car thermometers give relatively accurate readings, but for various reasons they can be incorrect, so they should not be used as the absolute authority. 

Due to the restrictions of a car's thermometers, the best way to know if roads are icy before heading out the door is to be aware of when, where and how black ice forms. The prime times for the development of this ice are around dawn and in the late evening when temperatures are typically the lowest. During the day, the best thing to do before getting in a vehicle is to take a look at the pavement. Before getting on the roads at night, drivers should be informed of the area's weather conditions, as black ice is hardest to see in the dark, according to Lee. The most common locations for the emergence of black ice are shaded or tree-covered parts of driveways and roadways due to the lack of sunlight and bridges and overpasses because of their ability to freeze quickly. While driving on black ice is similar in some regards to driving on snow, the biggest difference between the two is the amount of traction the vehicle retains.

For more information on each topic shown above, check out the full article at Accuweather.com.  

Source:  (Accuweather.com).

 

How To Tell If Your Car OR Your Rental Car Is Part of a Recall:
Here's an amazing statistic ... Time magazine is reporting that in 2014, more cars were recalled than at any other time in automotive history!  With only two months left in the year, automotive manufacturers have recalled an estimated 56-million vehicles in the U.S. alone.

To protect yourself from issues, injuries, etc due to auto recalls, be vigilant for these recall red flags:

  • Notification of recall by mail, typically a letter from the manufacturer.  Look for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) logo and the following words; SAFETY RECALL NOTICE.
  • Don't allow yourself to be up-sold while visiting your dealership for the recall repair.
  • Visit the NHTSA website and their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) online search tool.  Here you can submit your VIN to see if your car is subject to a manufacturer recall.  This is also good to do when renting a car.  You want to be sure the rented car is safe for you to drive and that all repairs have been made according to the manufacturer recall.

Source:  Time Magazine

Recall

 

One-Stop-Shopping For All Automotive Recalls:
Did you know that CarFax hosts a website that provides ALL automotive manufacturer recalls? That's right.  ALL automotive manufacturer recalls in one convenient location! Check out the FREE CarFax Recall Check website today.  Be safe out there.  

CarFaxCarFax

 

Graco Recall of 1.9 Million Infant Car Seats:
The primary issue appears to be related to the use/opening of the car seat buckle.  All seats manufactured and sold during this period; July 2010 and May 2013, appear to have the possible buckle issue.  For the latest on this recall, please see the ABC article from July 1, 2014.

GRACO

 

Mercedes-Benz Recalling 284,000 C-Class Vehicles in the United States and Canada:
Appears even the luxury fleet of vehicles are not immune to the overwhelming number of recalls in early 2014.  The Los Angles Times is reporting that Mercedes-Benz USA has issued a recall for nearly 284,000 of their vehicles due to an electrical condition that could create a failure or dimming of taillights in the 2007 and 2011 C300, C3004Matic, C350 and C63 MG models.  For the latest on this recall, please see the Los Angeles Times article from April 29, 2014.

Source:  Los Angeles Times

Mercedes Recall

 

General Motors (GM) Announces Recall of Compact Cars Due to an Ignition Switch Problem:
The number of deaths related to this recall now stands at 13.  The GM recall now impacts 1.37 million drivers.  Vehicles involved in the recall were built between 2003 and 2007.  This is not the first recall for GM this month.  778,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5 vehicles were recalled along with Saturn Ions, Chevrolet HHRs, Pontiac Solstices and Saturn Sky models for the same ignition switch issue.  For the latest on this recall, please see the official GM website for details and instructions.

Source:  CNNMoney "GM Expands Recall, Cites 13 Deaths" 

 

 

Hybrid and Electric Car Sales Are Setting Records:
Being 'green' (behind the wheel) appears to be getting a whole lot easier! Check out this great article from the Los Angeles Times, Cars Section, pertaining to August 2013 record sales of hybrid and electric cars. Are you driving a hybrid or electric car?  If so, tell us about it on our Facebook page.  

 

Black Boxes in Cars, a Question of Privacy:
Check out this interesting article from the New York Times about the use of black boxes in cars and possible privacy issues for those behind the wheel.

Source:  The New York Times


List of Colorado Driver Resources: