Category Archives: Safety

Pre-Vacation Vehicle Checklist

Before you head out on vacation, run through this handy checklist to make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the trip.

  • Have your vehicle inspected, if possible at least two weeks before you are ready to leave. This will help you to avoid last minute problems.
  • Take phone numbers and insurance papers.
  • Remember to keep your fuel tank full whenever possible. This will help avoid vapor lock during hot weather driving.
  • Remember to take any necessary maps. Pack extra snacks and drinks in case of unexpected delays.
  • Pack a flashlight with fresh batteries, glass cleaner, paper towels, and extra oil (know your brand of oil to avoid mixing brands).
  • Lock you car at all stops. Hide an extra set of keys on your vehicle. There´s nothing more frustrating than locking your keys in you car in unfamiliar territory.
  • Make reservations ahead of time, especially during the summer months and holidays.
  • If you are leaving the U.S.A. it is a good idea to have notarized birth certificates for children.
  • Make sure you know where your locking lug nut key, socket wrench and/or hub cap key are located.
  • If it is getting close to time to rotate your tires, make sure and do it before you leave. Check tire pressure too.
  • Check you oil at least every other time you fill your gas tank and visually inspect everything under the hood.
  • Do not use your cruise control during rainy weather. Wet roads increase your chance of hydroplaning.
  • Should you experience vehicle problems on your trip, the first place to call is A Street Automotive & Collision. We can refer you to a reputable facility close to you.

The Ups and Downs of Emergency Brakes

Emergency brake failure is usually not a problem unless the vehicle is parked facing UP a steep incline.

Have you ever heard of a vehicle that slipped down a hill even though the emergency brake was on? This can happen when the following 3 conditions occur:

  • The vehicle has rear drum brakes
  • is not in gear
  • and is parked with the nose of the vehicle pointing up a steep incline.

You can test your vehicle by setting the emergency brake and trying to back up. Most likely your vehicle will back up with a little more effort than usual, but when you try to go forward it will not move.

Emergency brakes are designed to keep most vehicles stationary while the vehicle is pointed down inclines or going forward. Emergency brake failure is not usually a problem unless the vehicle is parked on a steep incline. Avoid the slim chance of having your vehicle creep away by pointing the nose downhill and turning the wheels into the curb.

Using the emergency brake the proper way will always bring safe results.

Factory Finest, Not Aftermarket After-Thoughts

Installation of anything other than factory body parts on your vehicle could result in doing harm to your vehicle.

Professional collision repairs using factory parts can restore a vehicle back to pre-accident condition, however, a word to the wise is the installation of anything but factory body parts on your vehicle could result in doing unspeakable harm to your vehicle.

Factory body parts are engineered to exact specifications and created by the same machinery and tools as the original parts. Exact fit, gaps between panels, textures, metal thickness and corrosion protection are all taken into account by car manufacturers when creating the original body parts.

Collision damage to today´s vehicles can be extensive, expensive and long term so make sure that factory quality body parts are used on your vehicle.

Gas-Can Safety

Metal gas cans and pickup bedliners do not mix.

The insulating effect of the plastic bedliners found in the back of many pickup trucks prevents the static charge generated by gasoline flowing into a metal can from grounding.

As the charge builds, it can create a static spark between the can and the gas nozzle, resulting in an explosion or fire. Chevron USA recommends placing the cans on the ground when filling to minimize the danger.The insulating effect of the plastic bedliners found in the back of many pickup trucks prevents the static charge generated by gasoline flowing into a metal can from grounding.

As the charge builds, it can create a static spark between the can and the gas nozzle, resulting in an explosion or fire. Chevron USA recommends placing the cans on the ground when filling to minimize the danger.

Airbags

Let’s dispel some of the myths about airbags by providing the facts about them.

There have been many recent reports on a few unfortunate accidents involving airbags and children. Although air bags have saved thousands of lives, the media has chosen to amplify the few negative accidents that have occurred.

Automotive manufacturers have made airbag systems very smart. There are a number of criteria that must be met before an airbag system will deploy. It is virtually impossible to deploy an airbag system in anything short of a serious front end impact. Airbags are, of course, designed to decrease injury to the driver as much as possible.

After thousands of accidents and thousands of airbag deployments, there have been only a few unfortunate situations involving small children in the front passenger seat. A word of advice would be to never, ever seat small children in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with an airbag. Always buckle them up in the back. We have repaired several vehicles with deployed airbags and the vehicle owners all agree that they would have surely been seriously injured without the airbag deployment. If you have any concerns or questions about airbags, we openly invite you to stop by. We have deployed airbags and information on all makes and models of vehicle airbags. Furthermore, we love to show and tell.

Airbags may not be the perfect answer to America’s road fatalities, but at present there isn´t another automobile safety device which can compare to the combination of seatbelts and airbags. Drive safely, buckle up and always place small children in the back seat. Rest assured that if you are ever in an unfortunate accident situation an airbag may just be the thing that saves your life.There have been many recent reports on a few unfortunate accidents involving airbags and children. Although air bags have saved thousands of lives, the media has chosen to amplify the few negative accidents that have occurred.

Let´s dispel some of the myths about airbags by providing the facts about them.
Automotive manufacturers have made airbag systems very smart. There are a number of criteria that must be met before an airbag system will deploy. It is virtually impossible to deploy an airbag system in anything short of a serious front end impact. Airbags are, of course, designed to decrease injury to the driver as much as possible.
After thousands of accidents and thousands of airbag deployments, there have been only a few unfortunate situations involving small children in the front passenger seat. A word of advice would be to never, ever seat small children in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with an airbag. Always buckle them up in the back. We have repaired several vehicles with deployed airbags and the vehicle owners all agree that they would have surely been seriously injured without the airbag deployment. If you have any concerns or questions about airbags, we openly invite you to stop by. We have deployed airbags and information on all makes and models of vehicle airbags. Furthermore, we love to show and tell.
Airbags may not be the perfect answer to America’s road fatalities, but at present there isn´t another automobile safety device which can compare to the combination of seatbelts and airbags. Drive safely, buckle up and always place small children in the back seat. Rest assured that if you are ever in an unfortunate accident situation an airbag may just be the thing that saves your life.

Wiper Surprise!

Don’t be surprised if your wipers streak and squeak the first time you really need them.

As our nice hot summer winds down into Fall and Winter it is inevitable that the rains will come. Don´t be surprised if your wipers streak and squeak the first time you really need them. After sitting dormant on the hot windshield all summer the rubber wiper blades can become hard and brittle. In this condition the wiper blades will not conform to the curvature of the windshield well nor will they seal and blade water off the surface. We recommend that you at least inspect your wiper blades to see if the rubber is soft and flexible, you can also run water on the windshield while the wipers are operating and check to see if the blades are clearing the water off without streaking.

If your wiper blades are hard and brittle they will need to be replaced but if they seem only slightly dry or stiff they probably just need to be rejuvenated by wiping them with conditioning pads. You can purchase conditioning pads at most department stores or parts stores for a small cost. There are several brands and we have found that they all work excellently. If you follow the easy instructions on the package anyone can easily rejuvenate their rubber wiper blades.

Don’t let the dark rainy days of fall and winter take you by surprise. Clear vision may be the edge you need to drive safely in a dangerous situation. Wiper blades are cheap. Replace or recondition them if needed before driving in rainy conditions.

ABS Braking

Anti-lock Brakes do not require pumping to bring you to a safe stop.

Fall and winter weather bring a natural feeling of caution for most motorists. Slick roads and poor visibility are a given. In the past it has always been a safe procedure to pump the brakes lightly on slick road surfaces.

Any vehicle that is equipped with anti lock brakes will not require pumping for a safe stop. This is because the brake system pulses several times per second all by itself. Simply applying the brake pressure that is required for a safe distance will provide a much safer braking than any manual braking system could.

Fall and winter weather bring a natural feeling of caution for most motorists. Slick roads and poor visibility are a given. In the past it has always been a safe procedure to pump the brakes lightly on slick road surfaces.
Any vehicle that is equipped with anti lock brakes will not require pumping for a safe stop. This is because the brake system pulses several times per second all by itself. Simply applying the brake pressure that is required for a safe distance will provide a much safer braking than any manual braking system could.

Winter Safety Checklist

Prepare your vehicle for maximum cold and wet weather reliability.

When winter weather is upon us, it would be wise to prepare your automobile for maximum cold and wet weather reliability.
The following is a list of items that we recommend that vehicle owners should do:
Maintain coolant freezing level.
Inspect wiper blades.
Check battery cold cranking amps.
Fill wiper washer fluid level with non-freezing mix.
Test starter amperage draw.
Measure tire condition and pressure.
Insure tire chain condition and proper fit.
Lubricate all door locks, hinges and latches.
Check your 4×4 before you need it.
Don´t park your car under sappy trees.
Fill your fuel tank as full as possible to stop condensation.
Prepare a winter trip kit complete with warm blankets, flashlights, flares, quick energy food, and tire chains.
A cel phone on long trips is a wise addition.
Test the electrical system : starter, alternator & battery

Test heater and defroster Output

When winter weather is upon us, it would be wise to prepare your automobile for maximum cold and wet weather reliability.

When winter weather is upon us, it is wise to prepare your automobile for maximum cold and wet weather reliability. The following is our cold-weather safety checklist:

  • Maintain coolant freezing level.
  • Inspect wiper blades.
  • Check battery cold cranking amps.
  • Fill wiper washer fluid level with non-freezing mix.
  • Test starter amperage draw.
  • Measure tire condition and pressure.
  • Insure tire chain condition and proper fit.
  • Lubricate all door locks, hinges and latches.
  • Check your 4×4 before you need it.
  • Don´t park your car under sappy trees.
  • Fill your fuel tank as full as possible to stop condensation.
  • Prepare a winter trip kit complete with warm blankets, flashlights, flares, quick energy food, and tire chains.
  • A cel phone on long trips is a wise addition.
  • Test the electrical system : starter, alternator & battery
  • Test heater and defroster output

Timing Belt

The timing belt is one of the most critical and maintenance-sensitive components of your engine.

Not all engines use a timing belt. If you don’t know whether your engine has a timing belt, you need to find out soon. On free-running engines, timing belt failure will not cause engine problems other than a sudden stop and an immediate safety issue.

On interference engines, major damage will occur if the belt breaks while driving. Timing belt breakage on interference engines will allow the valves to hit the pistons because the timing that normally keeps them apart is inactive.

When this happens it means one of two things: either a large repair bill or a whole new engine.

Most manufacturers recommend timing belt replacement between 60,000 and 80,000 miles.

Yet Maintenance Sensitive Components Ever Used On Engines