Tag Archives: car safety

A Guide to Winterize Your Ride

Modern vehicles are more reliable and durable than ever but for added safety and peace-of-mind there are some easy ways from American Car Center to winterize your ride:

Change the windshield wipers and refill the wiper fluid. Working windshield wipers and a solid supply of wiper fluid help to ensure clear sightlines. Replace frayed or worn wipers and top up your wiper fluid tank with a lower-freezing temperature fluid.

Check the battery. Cold weather is tough on your vehicle’s battery. Check and clean up areas of corrosion on connections and posts. Consider running a battery load test on batteries more than five years old.  

Adjust engine oil viscosity. In the winter, your engine will run more effectively with a thinner engine oil. Check your owner’s manual for information on proper viscosity levels for colder temperatures.

Check belts and hoses. Cold temperatures can weaken the belts and hoses that help make your engine run; examine them for cracks and wear and replace worn parts.

Verify the anti-freeze mixture. The ratio of anti-freeze to water in your radiator should be about 1:1 to prevent the coolant in your radiator from freezing. To check the composition of your radiator’s fluid, pick-up an inexpensive anti-freeze tester at an auto parts store.

Examine the four-wheel drive. Working correctly, Four-wheel drive can provide better traction when driving on snowy and icy roads. Have it examined by a mechanic before winter weather sets in to ensure the system engages smoothly and that transmission and gear fluids are at their correct level.

Check the tire pressure. Cold weather causes air pressure in your tires to drop. A properly inflated tire ensures the best traction essential for driving in wintry conditions.

Stock emergency supplies. You never know when you will need them so be prepared by having your vehicle ready with emergency supplies, such as, a blanket, new flashlight batteries and booster cables.

Consider winter tires. Snow tires are made of a softer rubber than all-season tires which allows them to retain flexibility in the cold and have channels and grooves designed to grip into snow and ice. Winter tires improve safety at temperatures below 44°.

When the weather is frosty, the roads are likely to be slippery. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination, slow down and keep space between your vehicle and others. Take a few simple steps to winterize your vehicle to increase safety and performance this season.       

American Car Center has more than 67 stores conveniently located throughout the Southeast. All locations have an amazing selection of low mileage, late-model vehicles each with a limited powertrain warranty of up to three years or 36,000 miles, oil changes included.  

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Why Replace Your Gas Cap?

American Car Center is dedicated to seeing its hard-working and loyal customers in safe and reliable vehicles. A quick and easy measure to ensure just this is a check of your vehicle’s gas cap. Replacing a damaged or missing fuel cap greatly increases road safety and fuel economy.

Modern automotive fuel systems require a complete seal of the gas tank. The total seal prevents dangerous vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. An improperly functioning gas cap may even actuate the dashboard’s Check Engine indicator. The threaded, slight turn-and-click cap design is meant to signal a proper seal.

A cracked or worn gas cap is a malfunctioning gas cap that requires replacing. A cracked cap or missing seal permits fuel evaporation, costing motorists money.

Purchasing a replacement gas cap is simple; visit your local automotive parts retailer with your vehicle’s make and model year to receive the matching O.E.M. part.

Installing your new fuel cap is a snap, or rather, a click.

Visit American Car Center today for assistance or to find the perfect late-model and low-mileage vehicle for you. Our more than 45 amazing stores have an extensive selection of outstanding cars, trucks and SUVs, each with a limited warranty to 3 years or 30,000 miles and oil changes, too. We make it easy for the hard-working people of the Southeast to drive a high-quality vehicle no matter their credit history. The King of Credit wants to approve you today!

How to Properly Install a Car Seat

Newborn babies and infants need special protection while in a vehicle. In a collision, a properly installed and used rear-facing child car seat can save your baby’s life. Vehicle safety, especially for our most precious cargo, is American Car Center’s main priority. Choosing the right car seat for your child and using it for every ride is the best way to keep your child safe. The right car seat is one that is proper for your child’s height and weight and can be correctly installed in your vehicle. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and read your vehicle owner’s manual for correct child car seat installation and use.

Car Seat

To install your rear-facing child car seat:

Install away from active airbags. For most vehicles the safest place is the back seat or the second or third row of a mini-van.

Install the base at the correct angle. The angle range will be written on the car seat itself or in its manual. Some infant car seat models feature a built-in level indicator.

Use your body weight to tighten and fasten the seatbelt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS) strap through the base. The child car seat should move no more than 1 inch in any direction where the seatbelt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS) strap is routed through the child car seat.

If needed, use a locking clip. This clip helps secure the child car seat into your vehicle, if your vehicle’s seat belts do not lock. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual to see if you need one. If so, install the locking clip on the seatbelt within one-half inch of the latch plate.

Use the harness slots to position the straps correctly. Your harness straps must pass through the correct slots. Check your child car seat manual for the correct height.

Baby in car safety seat

To use your rear-facing car seat:

Make sure the harness straps do not twist or fold. Harness straps need to be straightened out each time you secure your baby in the seat.

Adjust the chest clip on the harness. It should lie flat against your baby’s chest at armpit level.

Secure the harness straps at or below your baby’s shoulders. You should not be able to fit more than one finger underneath the harness straps at your baby’s collarbone.

Make sure the carrier latches into the child car seat base every time.

Give it a tug to ensure it is still secure each time you place your child in the child car seat.

Remove bulky clothing from your baby, such as, thick sweaters or heavy jackets to ensure that the straps fit snugly.

It is best to keep your child in a rear-facing child car seat until they reach the manufacturer’s recommended maximum weight and height limits, since the rear-facing position is the safest. When your child outgrows the maximum weight or height limits of an infant rear-facing car seat, they may move to a larger convertible infant/child car seat and stay rear-facing until the child is ready to face forward. Rear-facing car seats should never be placed in the front seat of a vehicle. Do not use a car seat past its expiration date or if it is involved in a collision.

Visit a conveniently located American Car Center today for your family’s unique vehicle requirements. With an inventory of thousands of top-notch late-model, low mileage SUVs and cars backed by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, you’re sure to find the right one for you. American Car Center makes it simple and easy, no matter your credit history.