Archive for the ‘Care Care’ Category

Cleaning Tips for Your Car

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

For most Americans, their car is the second biggest investment they will make in their lifetimes. The average price of a light vehicle is $28,715, according to the Comerica Index. It makes sense to have an annual cleaning ritual to help preserve and maintain your car, just as you undertake regular cleaning to care for your home.

“Aesthetic maintenance is important to preserving a vehicle’s integrity and value,” says Ron Fausnight, Shell Car Care technical expert. “Routine maintenance, including washing and waxing your vehicle, can be viewed as preventative maintenance that helps to preserve a vehicle’s paint from the elements while restoring a polished, new look.”


DP Gel Wheel Cleaner 32oz.

Price: $15.99

Features

* Clings to wheels and will not run off
* Safe for all types of wheels
* Thick gel formula
* Great value for professional and at-home detailers


Tires and wheels are often overlooked when washing a car, but they are two areas that take the most abuse throughout the year. Road grime, salt and brake dust can quickly collect on wheels, and without proper removal, can lead to discoloration of aluminum alloys and corrosion and pitting of steel alloys used. When removing the debris, use a cleaner that is pH-balanced to avoid any potential damage to the composition and finish of wheels. A pH-balanced product such as the Black Magic Titanium Wheel Cleaner is as gentle as soap and water, but contains stronger cleansing and shine agents that are safe to use on all wheel types.

“While all preventative maintenance is important, maintaining a vehicle’s safety features should be an even higher priority,” Fausnight says. “Roadway safety needs a multifaceted car care approach, and taking steps to ensure visibility is important.”

Changing wiper blades at least once a year, combined with using a hydrophobic windshield repellent such as Rain-X Original Treatment, can dramatically clear a driver’s vision. The treatment seals the microscopic pores of glass, causing any precipitation to bead up and roll off the windshield. In fact, in tests conducted by a major university, the increased visibility provided by Rain-X improved driving response time up to a full second or more.

“Regular maintenance for your vehicle does not necessarily only relate to the exterior. With gas prices climbing higher than ever, many people are looking for ways to clean the inside of an engine to maintain a vehicle’s performance and fuel economy,” Fausnight says.

In some cases, cheaper gasoline can be a low-quality fuel that meets the minimum requirement of detergency by the EPA, but may allow deposits of gunk to form in a fuel system. One way to help remove this gunk is by using a fuel additive to clear deposits from fuel injectors, intake valves and combustion chambers.

One such product is the new Shell V-Power Complete Fuel System Cleaner that contains more than three times the required cleansing agents by government standards for premium gasoline. The fuel treatment actively cleans all components of the fuel system restoring optimum performance and fuel economy while also protecting from future deposit build-up. When used regularly, a product like Shell V-Power Complete Fuel System Cleaner can actually reduce carbon monoxide emissions and help the engine run cleaner.

Incorporating these tips into an annual cleaning routine, and performing regular maintenance, are important steps to preventing the deterioration of a vehicle and may help to save money in the long run.

“Clear To Drive” Campaign Educates Motorists on the Potential Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Drowsy driving can put anyone at risk for an accident, and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards wants to make sure motorists know to stay alert while driving. Edwards, who suffers from allergies, has teamed up with the makers of the non-drowsy allergy medication, CLARITIN, for the “Clear to Drive” campaign. The campaign aims to make sure people know how important it is to read medicine labels to see if there are any warnings about drowsiness before they get behind the wheel.

“As someone who races cars for a living, driver safety is an issue that’s important to me, and that’s why I’m participating in the “Clear to Drive” campaign,” says Edwards. “When I’m driving at 180 miles per hour, I can’t risk taking a medicine that makes me drowsy. I choose CLARITIN because it gives me powerful, non-drowsy relief from my worst allergy symptoms.”

As a spokesperson for the “Clear to Drive” campaign, Edwards will record a radio announcement to raise awareness about drowsy driving, which can potentially result from taking medicines that may cause drowsiness. The radio announcement will be available on cleartodrive.com – a new Web site that will provide valuable information on safe driving. The site will also feature facts about drowsy driving and tips for preventing this growing problem.

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Many drivers don’t realize that some common over-the-counter medicines could cause drowsiness. In fact, according to a recent survey, four in 10 Americans (38 %) report that there have been times when they were driving and realized that the medicine they had taken was making them drowsy.

“Taking a medication that may cause drowsiness can put people at risk for nodding off behind the wheel and potentially harming themselves or others,” says Marjorie Slankard, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “It’s important to carefully read the labels of medications and understand the side effects.”

Tips for Preventing Drowsy Driving
* Always remember to check medicine labels, including allergy medicines, for warnings about drowsiness before getting behind the wheel
* Avoid driving if you’re feeling drowsy
* Schedule breaks during long trips or arrange for a travel companion
* Get adequate sleep
* Stop driving if you start feeling drowsy behind the wheel

For more tips on safe driving and additional information about the “Clear to Drive” campaign, visit cleartodrive.com.

Road Safety Starts with Good Tires

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Regular auto maintenance is imperative to ensure your car is functioning at its best. While oil changes and seasonal preparation are important, one of the most critical parts of your car to maintain is also something that is often overlooked – the tires.

“The truth is that your driving experience is only as good as the tires on your car. And because your tires are the only thing that come between you and the road, it is important to get the right tires so you get the safest driving experience,” says Rick Brennan, executive at Kumho Tire USA.

High performance tires are a great option to help ensure your safety on the road. Most new cars come equipped with performance tires to match today’s more sophisticated handling packages — heavy-duty suspension systems, anti-lock braking systems, increased load-bearing potential and more. High performance tires not only accommodate driving at higher speeds but also perform more safely, especially in the most challenging conditions: slick, rainy roads; tight cornering; and quick stops. So although they cost a bit more, the tradeoff in increased safety is worth the investment.

“Even if you drive a luxury vehicle, performance tires can be beneficial. A high performance tire can deliver 2 percent better braking in a 60-to-zero situation. It appears to be a small number, but that equals about 5 to 6 feet difference, which could be the difference between an accident or not,” comments Brennan.

Why put off shopping for new tires when they are such a crucial part of your safety while driving? Here are the basics to get you started:

Load Index
Your current tire will have a size stamped on the sidewall. It will look something like: 215/55R16 93V. The “93″ is referred to as your load index followed by a single letter (V) identifying the tire’s speed rating. The load index is the indication of weight the tire can carry safely. It is dangerous to have a load index less than the number that is specified. If you have an improper load index, you could have a blowout.

Speed Rating
A common trade off for a higher speed rating is a less comfortable ride. For instance an “S” speed-rated tire will give a more comfortable ride compared to “H” speed-rated tire, but the “H” will function better at higher speeds. The ride comfort characteristics can be attributed to the tire’s overall stiffness. A tire capable of running at high speeds requires a more stiff construction in order to provide the necessary high speed stability and durability. A dealer will not sell you a lower speed rated tire than what is outlined in your vehicle’s manual. It is a liability and not considered safe.

High Performance Tires
In order to maximize tire handling, the high performance tread widths are wider than a typical tire. This allows maximum contact area with the road surface. The tread pattern incorporates larger tread blocks for increased stiffness that performs well on dry and wet surfaces. The stiffer construction helps when traveling at high speeds and enhances your handling abilities. High performance tires are made with different compounds that help them perform better on the road. High performance tires typically have a speed rating of “H” or higher.

One high performance tire perfect for luxury touring or sports sedans is the Kumho ECSTA LX Platinum. The tire features an asymmetrical tread design, three dimensional waffle sipes, a jointless nylon cap ply, and a 60,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. With exceptional mileage, outstanding ride comfort, low noise levels, exceptional snow traction and outstanding dry and wet handling, this tire was made to keep you safe on the road

More Horsepower for Less than $100

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Want more horsepower without paying much to get it? Here are three ways today’s top engine builders get more power from their racing engines and their personal cars, without spending a lot of money to do it.


K&N Replacement Air Filter

These reusable K&N Filtercharger air filters outflow any other filter–up to 900 cfm–for power gains of up to 15 HP. They use a surgical cotton fabric soaked in oil as their tack barrier. Sandwiched between an aluminum screen wire, the holes in the cotton catch tumbling air and straighten it out. Since air moving in a straight line flows faster, the filter actually improves airflow. They can be covered by up to 1/4 in. of debris before air restriction makes cleaning necessary. The filters come pre-oiled, and many are available as a direct fit for your application.


Upgrade your lubricants – Friction and heat from engine components and the drive train rob horsepower and performance. Minimizing this power loss can be as easy as upgrading to one of the newer high performance lubricants that are available. For instance, in a recent test by Horsepower TV, upgrading to high performance motor oil freed up 8 horsepower in a V8 engine. Video of the test and more information on upgrading lubricants can be found at www.royalpurple.com.

Replace and/or upgrade your air filter – During the life of your engine, thousands of cubic feet of air will pass through the engine cylinders. Dust and other material in the engine can cause excessive wear and operating problems. It’s imperative that you keep air filters clean by regularly replacing them.

To further enhance performance, upgrade to a performance air filter, which can free up an additional 2 to 3 horsepower. While not a tremendous power gain, the relatively low cost of a filter and ease of installation (about 5 minutes) more than make up for it.

Use higher octane gas or an octane booster – Go for the good stuff the next time you’re at the pump. Depending on your vehicle, high octane gasoline can provide an increase in horsepower. Even a marginal gain in switching from the lowest octane gasoline to the highest octane may be worth a few extra pennies at the pump to you.

For those who want to see a more measurable increase in power, a racing blend of gasoline will work well or one of the numerous brands of octane booster commonly available at auto parts stores.

Upgrading your gas, lubricants and air filter are a cheap and easy way to increase horsepower. These simple steps will also extend the life of your engine and help prevent expensive repairs.

Motor Oil Facts, Not Friction

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Many people don’t know how to select motor oil that will help them get optimum performance out of their car. People often just select the oil their father used, or they may take the suggestion of a counter person at an auto parts store who may not know any more about cars than they do.


Mobil Oil Mobil 1 Synthetic 0W40

Price: $5.99

Mobil 1 0W40 Synthetic Oil with SuperSyn helps give your car or truck exceptional protection against engine wear, under normal or even the most extreme use. This unique motor oil features a new, proprietary SuperSyn anti-wear technology that provides performance beyond conventional motor oils. 1 Quart.


There are meaningful differences in motor oils and choosing the right one can have a major impact on how well your car runs. Selecting the right oil is the quickest and cheapest way to improve your car’s performance and reliability.

Two components determine how well motor oil will perform in your car. One factor is the base oil, and the other is the combination of chemicals (additives) that are added to the base oil.

Base oils
The two primary types of base oils used are mineral and synthetic. Mineral oils are by-products of refined crude oil. Refining helps reduce the impurities but leaves molecules of all shapes and sizes. Synthetic oils are manmade compounds whose molecules are all the same size and shape; consequently, synthetic oil has less friction and performs significantly better than mineral oils.

There’s been sizable growth in the use of synthetic oils over the years. In fact, synthetic oils are often the factory fill in many new performance and luxury cars.

Additives
Regardless of the base oil used, chemicals must be added to give motor oil the characteristics needed to do its job. Typical additives that may be added to base oil include detergents to reduce the formation of residue, defoamants to deter absorption of air, anti-wear agents, antioxidants and others.

Although additives are typically only 15 to 25 percent of the make up of motor oil, they can impact a lubricant’s performance much more than the base oil. For instance, mineral based motor oil with a very good additive package can easily outperform synthetic motor oil with a mediocre additive package.

There is no easy way for a consumer to determine the quality of motor oil’s additive package. Price is often an indicator of quality since the more advanced additive technologies cost more to produce. Performance is the ultimate measure of additive package quality.

Advances in lubrication
Some of the biggest technological advances in lubrication are now coming through advancements in chemical additives. These breakthroughs have been developed by a handful of companies that specialize in high-performance lubricants, as opposed to major oil companies whose primary focus is refining and selling crude oil by products like gasoline and other fuels.

One high-performance lubricant company, Royal Purple, has developed lubricants that outperform both leading mineral oils and other synthetics. Their oil has been proven in numerous independent tests to dramatically reduce engine wear, increase horsepower and torque, and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Cars using their oils can also go further between oil changes, saving the owner time and money, and reducing the impact on the environment. More information about their products is available at the Web site www.royalpurple.com.

How to Choose
Mineral-based (conventional) motor oils. These are the cheapest and most widely available oils. They typically use standard additive packages that provide minimum levels of performance and protection.

Synthetic motor oils. These man-made oils are more expensive that mineral-based oils but are still widely available. Their performance advantages come predominantly from the synthetic base oil used. They have a longer service life and offer some improvements in protection. They typically use the same additive packages found in mineral-based oils.

High-performance ‘specialty’ synthetic motor oils. These motor oils are the most technologically advanced oils. Although they significantly outperform mineral based or synthetic motor oils, they are about the same price as standard synthetic motor oil. They are typically only available through auto parts stores and select oil change centers. These oils primarily differ in their use of more advanced, proprietary additive technologies.

Still confused? For a used car with little life left in it, stick with the cheap mineral-based motor oil. For a car you plan to keep for a few years and want to get a little better performance from, you should at least upgrade to synthetic motor oil. To get the most performance out of your car, truck or RV, or to protect a vehicle you really care about and want to last, upgrade to a high performance motor oil.

Winter’s Top Rules of the Road

Monday, November 26th, 2007

(ARA) – As soon as the snow begins to fall, as it has in most Northern cities across the country, drivers are faced with an entirely new set of challenges on the road. Snow and ice can be treacherous, but if you’re prepared for the dangers they present, winter driving is much less scary.

Whether you’ve already done a little slipping and sliding, or are hoping to prevent that scary occurrence altogether, it is important to make yourself aware of 10 road rules that apply in the wintertime:

1. Take steps to make sure your driveway will be safe to travel on. Before you even put the car in gear, sprinkle sand that is specially-formulated to increase traction on snow and ice on all areas you’re likely to walk on or drive over. Sand products are one of the most helpful and under-used products for winter driving, and the actual consistency of products such as Sakrete Multi-Purpose Sand was made to be poured over ice and provide immediate traction to your vehicle. You can find it at most home improvement stores and the re-sealable bag is suitable for rugged storage in variable temperatures.

2. Add ballast to your car. Products such as Sakrete’s Tube Sand adds weight and ballast to your vehicle to give you better traction, and if you need it, the sand inside also can help you out of a bind. “This is a product much like your spare tire,” says Shawn King of Sakrete, a leading brand of sand and concrete products. “A lot of people forget about it, but if something happens it immediately becomes the most important item in your trunk.”

3. Be prepared for an emergency situation. Emergency situations can arise at any time. The supplies you should keep in your trunk are a properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-type jack, a shovel, jumper cables, tow and tire chains, two or more bags of sand and a tool kit. You should also carry a survival kit that includes a working flashlight and extra batteries, flares, matches, a compass, extra windshield cleaner, an ice scraper and snow brush, blankets, a first aid kit and non-perishable, high-energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy.

4. Turn on your headlights. Even in the daytime to increase your visibility to other motorists, and be sure to keep your lights and windshield clean.

5. Decrease your speed. To drive safely on roads you suspect may be icy, decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.

6. Watch for black ice and other frozen patches. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.

7. Shift into lower gears. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.

8. Drive defensively. If your front wheels skid, take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go, then return the transmission to “drive” or release the clutch and accelerate gently. Steer in the direction you want your wheels to go. If your rear wheels skid, take your foot off the accelerator and steer left if you are sliding left and right if you’re sliding right.

9. If you get stuck, do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way. If a light touch on the gas doesn’t ease your car out, open the trunk and take out your emergency shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car. Then, put down the bag of Sakrete Tube Sand –Winter Traction Grit, kept in your trunk, and simply drive over it (The sand comes in a reinforced woven bag made specifically to be driven over). Once you’re out of your bind, don’t forget to stop and pick up the bag in case you need it again for traction.

10. If you become stranded, do not leave your car. Unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help, and are certain you will improve your situation; it would be extremely dangerous to leave your car. To attract attention, light two flares and place one at each end of the car a safe distance away. Hang a brightly colored cloth from your antenna.

No one wants to drive in inclement weather, but if you have to, being familiar with these 10 tips should make you feel safer.

Reality Show Gives Racing Enthusiasts Their 15 Seconds of Fame

Monday, November 26th, 2007

(ARA) - What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends? If the first answer to come to mind has something to do with cars, particularly of the racing variety, you’ll want to make plans to attend the filming of an upcoming PINKS All Out episode. The schedule for the 2008 season has just been released.

For each episode of season two on SPEED TV in 2008 (there will be 9 of them at different tracks across the country this season), 450 grass roots drag racers will be invited to qualify for a shot at the final PINKS All Out 16, where competitors race for the lion’s share of an $18,000 overall purse ($10,000 to win) and a new NAPA tool chest.

Hosted by creator and executive producer Rich Christensen and produced by Pullin Television out of Los Angeles, the television show rigors its on-air technical advisors (brothers Nate and Adam Pritchett) to select a field of 16 cars based upon a subjective elapsed-time grouping determined through two time-trial sessions. Prior to each Saturday shoot, racers will have the opportunity to pre-register their race cars and take part in a Friday “test n’ tune.”

Because the races will draw a lot more spectators than drivers, there will also be a variety of exhibitions and competitions happening on the sidelines. In the midway area, local vendors, manufacturers, supporters and groups will have the opportunity to elevate their involvement and showcase their wares or talents.

“The coolest thing about this show is it’s about grassroots racing. Average Joes get the opportunity to bring the cars that are their pride and joy out to the track to show them off and have fun, while at the same time going after a big cash prize, and getting their 15 seconds of fame on national television,” says PINKS technical advisor Nate Pritchett.

Here’s the schedule for the 2008 season of PINKS All Out. Please note that pre-registration and Test n’ Tune will be held the Friday prior to every shoot, and that dates and locations are subject to change. Rain dates will be scheduled for the following Sunday.

Dates and locations are:
March 8, San Antonio Raceway, San Antonio, Texas;
March 29, Red River Raceway, Shreveport, La.;
April 19, Gainesville Raceway, Gainesville, Fla.;
May 10, Atlanta Dragway, Atlanta, Ga.;
June 7, Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, Ohio;
June 28, Gateway International Raceway, St. Louis, Mo.;
July 26, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, N.J.;
Aug. 9, Bandimere Speedwayl Denver, Colo.;
Sept. 6, Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, Calif.

“PINKS All Out is a terrific concept, not only as a television program, but also as a track event for the regional drag racing community. We’re delighted that SPEED has selected Infineon Raceway to anchor the PINKS schedule in 2008,” says Steve Page, Infineon Raceway president and general manager.

“PINKS All Out is one of the most innovative entertainment packages on television today! Furthermore, the opportunity to attract such a large live audience for a ‘made-for-television’ event makes PINKS All Out one of the most dynamic and exciting events on our 2008 schedule,” adds Bill Bader, Jr., president and general manager of the Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

PINKS All Out can be seen on SPEED every Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. Pacific only on SPEED. For more information on contestant entry or to purchase spectator tickets, log onto www.SPEEDtv.com.

School’s in Session and the First Lesson is Tire Safety

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

(ARA) - Just under the grumblings of students can be heard the quiet elation of parents . . . school is back. This means the usual checklist: notebooks and pencils bought, backpack filled, lunchbox cleaned and tire pressure checked.

Tires? Odds are they never crossed your mind, let alone made your to-do list. In fact, 85 percent of Americans don’t check their tires regularly, according to the 2007 motorist survey by Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). But with school in session, soccer moms, college kids and everyone else driving to or dropping someone off at a campus might want to reconsider their “rubbery friends.”

“Tires are one of the most important safety features on your car,” says Fred Koplin of Yokohama Tire Corporation, manufacturer of everything from ultra-high performance tires for passenger cars and SUVs to tires for buses, trucks and airplanes. “These engineering marvels are the only thing touching the road, affecting everything from braking distance and accident avoidance to ride comfort and fuel efficiency.”

In fact, according to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) improperly inflated tires account for more than 33 thousand injuries and 660 deaths annually. Much of that can be attributed to the 27 to 33 percent of vehicles with at least one tire under-inflated by more than eight pounds per square inch (psi).

What’s the reason for such disregard? Koplin says, “It’s a combination of things; primarily a lack of knowledge and effort. It’s natural to forget, but for the best driving safety results, checking your tire pressure should become a monthly routine. It only takes five minutes. If you’re not doing it once a month, chances you’re driving on under-inflated tires.”

The new school year means daily trips carrying your most precious cargo — you and/or your kids. Whether you or your child gets behind the wheel, checking the tire pressure should become more than a chore, but a necessary part of owning a vehicle.

Yokohama’s Koplin offers a few more tips for improving tire safety:

* Check your tire pressure each time you wash your car. Seventy percent of owners wash their car each month, yet only 15 percent remember to check their tire pressure.
* Tires should be checked while cold, which means after sitting for at least three hours. Even driving just one mile causes a tire to heat up and gives inaccurate readings.
* Always inflate tires to the vehicle’s recommended pressure, usually labeled inside the driver’s door, fuel door, inside the glove box or in the owner’s manual. (The number on the tire’s sidewall is the maximum inflation pressure.) Over-inflation reduces the tire’s contact patch with the road, while under-inflation puts extra weight on its sidewalls and causes an unsafe increase in tire temperature.
* Use the “Lincoln’s Head” method to check tread depth: Place a penny head-first between the treads. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head then you have less than 2/32nds inch of tread depth left and the tire should be replaced.

Safety isn’t the only reason to monitor your tires. Tires that are under-inflated by just 6 to 7 psi can reduce fuel economy by 2 percent or more . . . and tread wear life by as much as 10 percent. Two trips to and from school each day, after-school activities, sports, errands . . . and the savings add up quickly. Proper tire care can also increase tread-life by up to 10 percent.

This year, as everyone scurries back and forth to school, remember to also add your vehicle to the study list, starting with the tires. You’ll get an “A” in safety.

You can find more information about tire care and safety at www.yokohamatire.com or visit the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Web site at www.rma.org.

Don’t Let Dusty Roads Get You Down

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

(ARA) - Face it — dusty, unpaved roads are a way of life for rural and urban dwellers. In fact, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2005, over 1.4 million miles of public roads in the United States were unpaved — more than 1,800 times the length of California.

The fine dust particles that blow off gravel roads and construction areas are a nuisance to local residents, but many people aren’t aware of the health and safety concerns associated with dust pollution — or that there are some efficient and cost-effective ways to combat the dust.

Why Dust is an Issue
Dusty roads can cause problems for nearby residents and affect local transportation. For example:

* Dust from unpaved roads often makes its way into nearby homes, worsening symptoms for people with respiratory ailments, such as asthma, and those who are allergy-prone.

* Dust particles kicked into the air by traffic on unpaved roads can form dark and dense dust clouds, severely limiting visibility and making driving unsafe.

* When the top-most dust layer blows off road surfaces, the larger, abrasive rocks and stones left behind are often thrown into the air, causing cracked windshields, broken headlights, chipped paint and other kinds of wear-and-tear on automobiles.

* Dust is an important part of the road structure. If it is blown away, potholes and other kinds of road deterioration can develop that can be dangerous to drivers and costly to repair.

Combating Dust
While paving gravel roads is the surest way to control dust, it is an expensive option for many municipalities and townships with limited budgets. Instead, townships sometimes turn to unprocessed oil field brine, but this requires frequent applications and there is a risk of negative environmental impact from the impurities found in this by-product of oil well operation. Here are some reliable and cost-effective ways to reduce the impact of dust in your community:

* Block it out: Keep the doors and windows of your home closed, especially during times of the day when road traffic is high, to help keep the dust particles out. Indoor air filters and purification units can also help control dust in the home.

* Reduce driving speeds: Drive at slower speeds on unpaved roads to reduce the level of dust blown into the air by vehicles.

* Water it down: Watering down dusty roads can offer short-term relief for mild dust problems by causing dust particles to stick to the road temporarily.

* Apply a calcium chloride dust control product: To address more persistent dust control problems with fewer applications, a moisture-thirsty calcium chloride product in either a liquid or flake form can provide a longer-lasting solution. High-performance products like LIQUIDOW liquid calcium chloride or DOWFLAKE Xtra 83 to 87 percent pure calcium chloride flakes from The Dow Chemical Company (www.DowCalciumChloride.com) work by attracting moisture from the air and binding dust particles tightly to the dampened road surface, helping to keep airborne dust at a minimum, even in dry, hot climates. In addition to keeping dust in check, calcium chloride can also reduce grading intervals and the need to replace displaced road gravel.

For more information, visit www.DowCalciumChloride.com

Tips for Getting Around Safely in the Winter

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

(ARA) - Looked at a calendar lately? Time sure is flying! It seems like just yesterday you were enjoying those long, sunny days out by the lake. Now you’re counting down the days till Thanksgiving and Christmas; but the holidays aren’t all you should be thinking about. The most wonderful time of the year is also the most dangerous time of year to be on the roads.

According to the AAA, loss of visibility, slick roads and poorly maintained brakes lead to thousands of accidents every year, and the highest number of weather-related injuries and fatalities occur during the wet and snowy months of winter. But there are precautions you can take to help prevent accidents, and to be prepared, just in case.

Now — before the flakes start flying — is the time to winterize your vehicle! Start by making sure it is well maintained and in good working order. Here’s a checklist of things to inspect:

* Check all fluids and replenish if necessary.

* Have your vehicle’s battery checked to make sure it is strong enough to make it through the winter.

* Check tire tread depth and tire pressure; consider special tires if snow or ice are a problem in your area.

* Check to see that all lights work and headlights are properly aimed.

* Be certain the heater and defroster are working properly.

* Change your windshield wiper blades if your current ones are worn or UV damaged to ensure good visibility during the season’s rain or snow storms.

It’s always good to be a defensive driver, but it’s especially important in inclement weather. Good winter driving depends on using common sense and adjusting your driving to weather conditions.

* Keep your gas tank full to minimize condensation, and provide an extra margin of comfort and safety in case of delays.

* Don’t use your cruise control or overdrive when it’s freezing (or colder).

* Trucks take longer to stop, so don’t cut in front of them.

* Don’t get overconfident with four-wheel drive. It helps you get going quicker but won’t help you stop any faster.

* Add weight to the rear of your car or truck for better traction. If you drive a car, add weight to the trunk by using sandbags. If you drive one of the more than 38 million registered trucks on the roads, you should add weight to the truck bed. This can be done with a Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliner. The liner adds about 50 pounds of weight to deter rear wheel skids. It also provides lifetime protection against the rust and corrosion that can form quickly in winter weather.

Finally, keep emergency supplies in your vehicle. Here’s a list of some items that will come in handy if you’re stranded:

* Basic safety equipment such as emergency cash, scraper and brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain, and bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction.

* A breakdown kit that includes road flares, blanket, gloves, boots, warm clothing, flashlight, extra batteries, food, water, and first-aid kit.

* A CB radio or cellular phone can be a lifesaver for you or another stranded motorist in the event of an emergency or collision.

These tips and a little common sense will keep you and your family safe on the road this winter.

For more information on Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners, or to find the dealer nearest you, visit www.linex.com or call (800) 831-3232. Line-X has close to 500 locations across the United States.