Drivers that "T" Us Off (Bad Driving Practices)
We've all seen drivers who do things that—let's be frank—really irritate us. They're inconsiderate, can put people in danger and make the road a much less friendly place. They really "T" us off. These are the bad drivers who fit their description to a "T."
The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
Your Vehicle is Talking to YOU (Service Warning Signs)
Your vehicle may be like that famous battery bunny, the one that just keeps going and going. But while it may seem sometimes like you never need to take your vehicle in to be worked on, there are some things you should keep your eyes, ears and nose out for. They are warning you about something that needs attention at your vehicle service facility.
An old 80s TV show called "Knight Rider" featured a talking car. You already have a vehicle that's telling you things all the time. Give it a listen and it will keep you going safely down the road for many years to come.
The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
The Third Brake Light (Third Brake Light Service)
So you thought you only had two brake lights. Look again and you'll see one in the center at a higher level than the two on either side of the vehicle. They're sometimes in the inside of the vehicle behind the back window, or they could be in the deck lid, on the roof or on the spare wheel carrier,
But why is that third brake on your vehicle? Experts say it helps prevent rear end collisions. Tests done by installing the third brake light in taxis and fleet vehicles showed fewer rear end crashes in the ones that had the extra light. The third brake light was mandated in new passenger cars in 1986 in the US and Canada. The requirement was added to new light trucks and vans in 1994.
Sometimes it's difficult to know if your third brake light is even working. Many vehicles have bulb warning systems that alert you to non-functional bulbs, but not all do. Your vehicle service facility will often check to see if all your turn signals, taillights and headlights are working during routine maintenance inspections, and they may notice that the third brake light is out.
So, do you have to have it replaced? Not necessarily. Many areas only require one brake light to work in the rear of a vehicle. So even though new vehicles have to have the third brake light, you may not get a ticket if it eventually stops working. But you may be missing an opportunity to drive a safer vehicle if you don't get it fixed.
In 1995, an insurance institute study found that 1986 model cars were involved in 5 percent fewer rear-end collisions from 1986-1991 than they would have expected without the extra light.
Ask your service advisor for advice. Keep in mind that in these days of drivers distracted by everything from texting to putting on makeup while driving, you can reasonably conclude that anything that makes you more visible to the vehicle behind you adds one more—possibly life saving—safety margin.
Stuck! (Vehicle Door Issues)
This may have happened to you. You drive somewhere and get out of your vehicle only to try closing the door and it just won't stay closed! What a helpless feeling. You can't lock it; you can't leave it like it is. Or, let's say you head down to your vehicle to head out to work in the morning and you can't open the door. What are you going to do now?
Vehicle doors take a lot of abuse. They are opened and closed hundreds of times and we expect them to just keep working perfectly all the time. They do require a bit of tender loving care. Let's take a look at two different scenarios of stuck doors.
First: the door that won't close. It's a security issue. It's also a safety issue. You can't really safely drive a vehicle with a door that won't close. What if you or a passenger is tossed out? Sure, some people try to tie a stuck-open door closed or bungee it, but that's dangerous. It's best to get that vehicle to the service repair facility as soon as you can, and having it towed is the safest way.
Second: the door that won't open. There are many reasons this can happen. Freezing weather is one, a misaligned door is another. There could be electrical issues. Corrosion could have broken a part inside the door. The possibilities, unfortunately, are numerous.
If you can't get into your vehicle's driver's door, with any luck another door might open and you can climb into the driver's seat and head on to the repair facility. A lot of people may be tempted to try to fix a stuck door themselves, but many wind up causing more damage to the door and have to have a trained technician step in to repair the mess.
One way to minimize the possibility of having a door stick open or closed is to make sure it gets regular maintenance. Door locks, hinges and latches should be lubricated at certain intervals. Locks should be kept clean. While many vehicles now have electronic locks, sometimes an electrical failure in the vehicle or key fob can inadvertently lock you out. Nearly every vehicle has a mechanical key in case that happens; if you don't know how that works, have your service advisor show you how.
Also, you technician can make sure your doors are properly aligned and aren't sagging. All of these things can help you keep your doors opening and closing the way they were designed to. Your next trip may "hinge" on your doors being in top condition.
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