Auto Safety Blog

When you’re driving, you need to focus on the road, other vehicles, and traffic signals. The one thing you don’t want to worry about is the safety of your child. A properly installed car seat, with the child securely buckled in, leaves you free to keep your eyes and mind on driving.

The basics

Child car seats can be complex. Which one do you get? Where do you install it? How do you install it? Let us demystify this complex problem for you.

We all know accidents happen. We’ve been quoted statistics all of our lives. Now, we have an encouraging statistic for you: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal auto accidents have decreased significantly over the last five-year period.

Enhanced safety systems in vehicles, such as airbags and modern seat belts, play a huge role in reducing fatal auto accidents.

The basics

Airbags can be found in various places throughout the vehicle. Typically they are located in the steering wheel, on the dash, and on the side of the seats in the case of side curtain airbags. The airbags deploy under certain circumstances determined by the sensing and diagnostics module in the car.

Each passenger seat has a seat belt. Modern seat belts include a retractor pretensioner module that is wired to the sensing and diagnostics module. Under accident scenarios, the retractor pretensioner module does not just stop the seat belt from providing slack, it actually retracts the additional slack to keep you in position for the best protection during an accident.

It’s first thing in the morning and there is dew on your car’s windshield. While you are getting ready to drive to work, you quickly flip on the windshield wipers and the perfect beads of water are replaced by stripes of water that you can barely see through. It must be time for new windshield wipers.

The basics

Visibility is vital to safe driving. During inclement weather, your windshield wipers can help you see clearly, which improves your safety and the safety of those around you.

Wiper blades have changed very little over the years aside from a few gimmicks. They have two parts:

  1. A rubber strip cut like a blade
  2. Metal and springs to hold the blade to the windshield

The rubber blade makes contact with the windshield and squeegees the water away from the windshield surface to improve your visibility.

Your car weighs roughly a ton, and the engine that powers it needs some serious weight too. So how come your engine purrs like a lap cat? It’s all about the oil.

The basics

Oil is the life blood of your vehicle’s engine. While your car is running, the oil circulates through the engine. It lubricates the parts to keep them all moving with very little friction, which makes the engine run smoothly—and even purr.

Two things work to keep the engine running smoothly: cleaners added to the oil and oil filters. The cleaners do just what you might imagine. As the oil moves through the oil circulation system, the cleaners do their part to keep the engine clean and free from contaminants. The oil filter removes the worst of the foreign materials from the circulating oil.

Types of oil

There are three main types of oil, the normal petroleum-based oil, semi-synthetic oil and full synthetic oil. Your car’s manufacturer specifies which type of oil to use for the best performance.

The starting and charging system makes sure you can start your car and use all of the features that need electricity to operate.

The basics

The Starting System

The starting system is made up of the starter motor and the ignition switch. The starter motor is a high-torque electric motor that literally turns the engine until the cylinders can combust fuel, starting a chain reaction that keeps the engine running. The starter motor draws its power from the battery. It requires quite a bit of power, so if your battery is running low, your car may not start.

The Charging System

The charging system is made up of the battery and alternator. The alternator is connected to the engine by a belt that spins the alternator to generate electricity like a generator. This electricity recharges the battery and provides the power needed to run all of the electrical components in the car. The battery stores electricity for later use to operate the starter motor.

The purpose of the cooling system is to keep the engine running at an optimal temperature to allow the engine to run efficiently.

The Basics

While most people think of the engine cooling system as the green fluid often called engine coolant or antifreeze coolant, the coolant is just a small part of the engine cooling system. The coolant acts as a medium as it passes through the cooling system. It starts in the radiator and is pumped by the water pump through hoses to the engine block and then back to the radiator. It takes the heat from the engine and transfers it to the fins on the radiator allowing the air to cool the fluid and the cooling system itself. The thermostat controls the cooling fan on the radiator determining when it needs to be on or off and also connects to the driver's control panel to indicate the coolant temperature.

The basics

The suspension system keeps the car riding and turning smoothly. It absorbs the bumps in the road to make your ride comfortable and also counteracts normal shifts that occur when you accelerate, turn, and brake, so that the tires are always in contact with the road. The steering system allow the car to maneuver and corner in order to go where it is intended to go.

Tires keep your car on the road and in your control.

The basics

Tires provide the traction that you need to steer and stop. And when it starts raining, the gaps in the rubber channel water to help you maintain that traction.

You always want to have enough time—and road—to stop gradually. But, sometimes you don't. You need to know that your brakes will stop the car quickly when you need them to.

The basics

Brakes work with your tires to stop your vehicle. More specifically, brakes use friction to stop the wheels of your car. There are two main types of brakes: disc brakes and drum brakes.