Replacing Your Child Safety Seat After a Crash

<b>Replacing Your Child Safety Seat After a Crash</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The Automotive Service Association (ASA) reminds motorists that just as a collision can cause hidden structural damage to a vehicle, it can also cause invisible structural damage to car seats — making them less able to protect your child in the event of another crash.

ASA encourages readers to learn more about the guidelines for replacing child safety seats after a crash by visiting www.nhtsa.gov. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) outlines the following:

If an auto accident is moderate to severe, the car seat needs to be replaced. However, car seats do not need to be replaced if the damage to the vehicle is minimal. But how can you tell a minor accident from a moderate one? Child safety seats probably do not need to be replaced if all of these conditions are met:

1. The vehicle was able to be driven away from the scene of the accident.

2. The door nearest the safety seat was undamaged.

3. No vehicle occupant was injured in the accident.

4. The airbags did not deploy.

5. There is no visible damage to the safety seat.

When in doubt, ask your auto technician about the extent of the damage to your vehicle to better assess whether or not it means your child safety seat needs replacement. You should be able to trust your technician, so look for someone with high qualifications. Automotive service businesses that belong to ASA must agree to follow a strict code of ethics. To

find an ASA shop near you,

visit the ASA Web site at www.ASAshop.org or call (800) ASA-SHOP.

To keep your child safe, you need to use your child safety seat correctly. Infants under 20 pounds should face the rear of the car. Never put a child safety seat in the front passenger seat — if the airbag deploys, it could cause serious injury to a young child. Infant seats should stay at a 45-degree angle.

You should check that the belts are routed correctly, using either the vehicle owner’s manual or stickers on the seat. The seat belt should not give or move when the seat is pulled or rocked.

More information about child safety seat requirements is available at the NHTSA Web site, www.nhtsa.gov. Additional tips for motorists are available at www.ASAshop.org.

Get More Miles Out of Your Car or Truck

<b>Get More Miles Out of Your Car or Truck</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Due to the current economic climate, many Americans are becoming less willing to make expensive purchases. Even the nation’s long-held love affair with the automobile hasn’t escaped the penny-pinching trend.

The latest trends demonstrate that Americans are trying to stretch the mileage of their current vehicles. In 2006, the average car owner drove their car for 68 months before trading it in for a new vehicle. By the fourth quarter of 2008, the average trade-in was 76 months old.

The following simple and inexpensive preventive checks provided by The Automotive Service Association (www.ASAshop.org), which represents thousands of repair shops nationwide, will greatly extend the life of the vehicle and ensure safer operation:

– Always consult your owner’s manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil and filter changed regularly, every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.

– Have all fluids checked, including brake, power steering, transmission and transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.

– Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.

– Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle’s suspension system.

– Check battery cables and connections for corrosion, and clean them as needed.

– Have the lighting system checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals and brake and tail lights.

– Check windshield wiper blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them approximately once a year or sooner if streaking begins.

– Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine performance. Look for cracks and missing sections or segments.

– Have the air filtration system checked frequently. The air filter should be checked approximately every other oil change for clogging or damage. This system ensures that the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.

Always consult the vehicle owner’s manual for individual service schedules as manufacturer maintenance requirements will vary.

Automotive Service Association members agree to follow ASA’s Code of Ethics, which is the automotive service industry’s standard for professional business practices with consumers in mind. For more information, visit ASA at www.ASAshop.org.