Lemon laws restricted (Bankrate.com via Yahoo! Finance)

October 5th, 2007
Most car manufacturers have representative for lemon law problems, says Bankrate car expert Terry Jackson.

Car Shopping: New Or Used? (Investopedia)

October 4th, 2007
It happens to everyone. The old clunker gasps its last smokey gasp at the side of the road, and you're left to face a sickening reality - you need some new wheels.

Hackers Scoff At iPhone Warning (InternetNews.com)

September 26th, 2007
Despite Apple's dire warning of imminent "brickdom" and worthless warranties, hackers and customers who managed to unlock their iPhones say they have the law and ingenuity on their side.

Victoria plans new ‘lemon laws’ (drive.com.au)

September 25th, 2007
The Victorian Government is planning to introduce the nation’s first ‘‘lemon laws’’ to force car makers to replace persistently defective cars, but it will have to overcome the collective resistance of the automotive industry.

Squeezing auto lemons (Herald Sun)

September 24th, 2007
BUYING a new car is often the second-biggest financial decision a person will make, after purchasing a home.

Buyers get refund on faulty cars (Herald Sun)

September 23rd, 2007
MOTORISTS will have the right to offload faulty cars under new lemon laws to be introduced by the State Government. A paper on the proposals will be released.

Expert: Terry Jackson (Bankrate.com)

September 22nd, 2007
Last week we provided a primer on lemon laws that can help you get either a replacement or refund for a new car that has persistent, apparently unrepairable problems.

Beware of lemon car buybacks (Bankrate.com via Yahoo! Finance)

September 22nd, 2007
Avoid a bitter taste when buying a car by researching the lemon law, says Terry Jackson.

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

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

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