It’s Not Too Late: A Resolution That Can Save Money and So Much More

The New Year has just begun, and already people are ditching their New Year’s resolutions and revisiting their old ways. But what if you had picked a resolution that could help save you money or even your life? Maybe then you wouldn’t be so quick to break it.

Maintaining your vehicle could do both: save money and keep you safer on the road. All you need to do is follow — and keep following — these important steps from Firestone Complete Auto Care:

Gear Up for Winter Driving This Holiday Season

The weather outside may be frightful, but your commute doesn’t have to be — that is, if you take the proper steps to prepare your vehicle for winter weather. Be prepared with Firestone Complete Auto Care’s winter driving safety tips to help make sure you arrive home safely for the holidays.

•    Be proactive! Winter only magnifies existing problems like pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling. Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound before the temperature dips and the streets get icy.

•    Make certain the engine is in peak condition. Also, check the cooling system. Coolant should be replaced per the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

How to Spend Less on Gas and More on Holiday Gift-Giving

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle when you’re constantly looking for the perfect gift. The holidays can get expensive, but there are ways to save , and your vehicle doesn’t have to add to that huge dent in your wallet.

Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following tips to help you save money at the gas pump so you can focus on the season of giving.

Prepare Yourself and Your Vehicle for Driving at Night

(NewsUSA) – Along with the beauty that cooler days give us also comes fewer daylight hours. While you should practice caution when driving no matter the season, it’s important to take extra precautions this time of year to prepare yourself and your vehicle for nighttime driving.As the days get shorter, and inclement weather descends upon us, Firestone Complete Auto Care would like to provide the following tips.* Develop a habit to make sure your tires are properly inflated, rotated and in good condition.* Make sure your lights and mirrors are clean and properly positioned. Incorrectly aimed headlights can temporarily blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road. Properly aligned mirrors also reduce blind spots.* When in doubt, turn on your headlights. Even if they don’t help you see better, they’ll make it easier for other drivers to see you.* Use high beams sparingly. Live in an area with high fog? It’s not a good idea to use your high beams. Instead, you should use only your low beam headlights, since high beams reduce your ability to see. Some newer vehicles even come equipped with special fog lights.* Maintain your ability to see well, and adjust your vehicle’s interior lighting if necessary. If streetlights cause a lot of glare, dim your dashboard lights and use your sun visor. Avoid using any other light inside your vehicle.* Switch your rearview mirror to its night setting. By changing the angle of the reflective surface, the lights reflecting in your mirror will appear to be dimmed.* Clean your windshield inside and out. Keeping your windows clean — especially the windshield — is crucial to road safety. Wipe down your windows each time you wash your car, and refill wiper fluid regularly.Whether it’s in the bright of day or dead of night, you should always take the necessary precautions to ensure that you’re driving safely and that your vehicle is road ready.For more road tips, visit www.firestonecompleteautocare.com.

The New School Year Has Begun! Talk to Your Teens About Vehicle Maintenance

We all remember that amazing feeling of freedom our first car gave us. As our teens head back to school this fall, Firestone Complete Auto Care encourages parents to take a few deep breaths and be sure to go over, not only in-vehicle safety, but also vehicle maintenance procedures so their teens can have that “new car” freedom by keeping their vehicle running newer, longer.

•    Change the engine oil. Use the recommended grade of oil, and change it according to your owner’s manual, usually every three months or 3,000 miles. Prolonged driving without an oil change may cause severe engine damage.

Before Summer Fun, Make Sure Your Vehicle Can Handle the Heat

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – In many parts of the country, the leaves have started to fall, and parents have sent their children back to school. Before the weather takes a turn, Firestone Complete Auto Care would like to offer the following car maintenance tips to get vehicles ready for the damp, cold road ahead.
Take your vehicle for a full check up. As the fall weather rolls in, it’s important to have the following items checked by a professional: battery cables and terminals, belts and hoses, air filters, windshield wipers and all fluids, including anti-freeze, oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, automatic transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid.
Take a good look at your tires. Are there signs of uneven tread wear? That could indicate under-inflation, unbalanced tires or misaligned wheels. Remember to check your tire pressure with a gauge at least once a month and regularly inspect the tread depth. Your tread will be even more important during the autumn months when wet, dead leaves cover the roadways.
Take care of your lights and turn signals. Fall, along with less favorable weather, also means it’s time to turn the clocks back for daylight savings. With a shorter day comes a longer night, so be sure your headlights, taillights and turn signals are in proper working order and shining at the appropriate levels.
Talk to your teenager. Have a teenager in the house? Worried about all the driving they will be doing during the fall? You can’t teen-proof your neighborhood, but you can talk to your teen about safe driving before they head to school. Teens Drive Smart, a teen driver safety initiative from Bridgestone Americas, the parent company to Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC, which owns and operates Firestone Complete Auto Care, has tips and resources for parents to help start a conversation with their teens about smart driving. Visit www.TeensDriveSmart.com for more information.
Remember, not only can taking these small steps keep your vehicle running newer, longer, but they can also help keep you and your family safe on the road.

You Don’t Need the Luck of The Irish to Make Your Car "Green"

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The Emerald Isle is known for being lush, green and teeming with stout, little leprechauns. While the latter might be just a myth, it’s no fairy tale that by taking small steps to make your car go green, not only can you make the earth a little cleaner, but you can also save yourself a pot of gold worth of expenses. Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following tips to help you make your vehicle a little greener:
* Perform scheduled maintenance. Follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule to keep your vehicle in good working order. By using fresh filters and fluids, as well as making sure your emission control system is working properly, you can minimize your vehicle’s impact on the environment.
* Slow down. Vehicles use less fuel the slower they travel. Try dropping your highway speed by 10 mph. You will use less gas and cause fewer emissions. In addition, gradually stepping on the accelerator and gently applying the brakes is more fuel-efficient than sudden stops and gunning the engine.
* Plan ahead. Consolidate several trips into one. Plot out the most efficient route to get to all of your stops. You will use less gas and produce fewer emissions.
* Roll up and remove excess. If you roll up your windows, your vehicle’s aerodynamics will be more streamlined, the drag will be reduced and you’ll get better mileage. Removing ski racks, bike racks and after-market rooftop cargo carriers can also help improve your vehicle’s aerodynamics.
* Don’t idle. Don’t idle to warm up your vehicle. Prolonged idling creates unnecessary emissions, and idling for more than thirty seconds consumes more fuel than re-starting the engine.
Going green doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it certainly doesn’t include chasing after rainbows. By taking small steps throughout the year, you can ensure that your vehicle is doing its part to help make the planet a little cleaner.

Next Best Thing to Vacation: A Stress-Free Commute

<b>Next Best Thing to Vacation: A Stress-Free Commute</b> (NewsUSA) – It may be vacation time for kids, but most adults work through the summer months. Firestone Complete Auto Care recommends some commuting tips for everyone who is spending the summer driving to work instead of heading out on vacation:

* Keep Your Vehicle in Tip-Top Condition. It is important to keep your vehicle properly maintained. For example, check your tires regularly since they are the only thing connecting your vehicle to the road. You can check your tires’ tread depth with the “penny test.” Insert a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is worn, and the tire probably needs to be replaced. If you are not certain, have it checked by a tire professional. You should also have your automotive technician make sure that your tires are properly inflated and rotated. In addition, have them check under the hood to evaluate your vehicle’s other major systems.

* Commute Comfortably. Wear shoes that are comfortable and safe to drive in — flat shoes with some grip on the soles are ideal. Make any adjustments to your seat or mirrors before you start on your way.

* Don’t Be Distracted. Stay focused and do not multitask. Make your daily commute your “quiet time” for the day by turning off your cell phone. Even if your local laws do not require it, if you must talk on your phone invest in a headset so you can focus on the road. Make sure that you can still hear honking horns and sirens while using your headset.

* Keep Calm. Consider leaving earlier or researching an alternative route to miss rush hour traffic, holiday traffic or bad weather. If you know that you’re going to be late, accept the delay. Slow down and keep your distance in heavy traffic. Unsafe driving habits such as changing lanes right before or after an intersection or in a school zone, not signaling before a turn, making illegal U-turns and other activities can put you and others at risk.

If you are still facing the daily grind this summer, take the time to make your commute a safe and pleasant part of your day.

Next Best Thing to Vacation: A Stress-Free Commute

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Next Best Thing to Vacation: A Stress-Free Commute

Five words or   less(NewsUSA) – It may be vacation time for kids, but most adults work through the summer months. Firestone Complete Auto Care recommends some commuting tips for …