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Broadcaster Press 11 September 25, 2018 www.broadcasteronline.com Fall Home Improvement & Car Care 2018 How to Prepare For An Out-of-Town Breakdown How to Recognize Potential Brake Problems insurance company or motor club may include tow trucks free of charge up to a certain number of miles, allowing travelers to get their cars back home without breaking the bank. • Inspect tires, including your spare. Many a road trip has been derailed or thrown off schedule due to a flat tire or tires. Before departing, check the condition of your existing tires, including the spare, as well as the air pressure in each one. Firestone notes that many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing tires at six years, regardless of tread wear. Tires that get heavy usage should be replaced even more frequently. To determine if tread wear is something to worry about, Firestone recommends the penny test, which involves placing a penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire. If the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head is always visible, then your tires are shallow and worn and need to be replaced. But if part of Lincoln’s head is always covered, Drivers must address symptoms of a faulty braking system early on to reduce their risk of accidents. Road trips make for excellent getaways. Whether you’re embarking on a weekend excursion or a lengthy vacation, driving yourself to your destination is a great way to travel, especially for families looking to save money. Though no one wants to think about the possibility of a vehicle breakdown while out of town, such things do happen. How prepared drivers are can go a long way toward determining how affected they and their passengers will be if this happens. • Get a checkup before skipping town. It sounds simple, but many drivers may overlook the importance of vehicle checkups before departing on weekend getaways or longer trips. A full checkup (including an oil change if the recommended interval has passed or is approaching) can uncover any problems that might derail a trip. • Examine your options in regard to emergency roadside assistance. Insurance providers typically offer emergency roadside assistance to policy holders for a nominal fee, and memberships in clubs such as AAA also are inexpensive. That’s especially true when drivers compare the cost of extra coverage or AAA membership to the potential price tag of a tow truck and out-of-town repairs. Drivers should note that out-of-town repairs may require costly overnight shipping of parts so travelers can get back on the road as quickly as possible. Roadside assistance offered through an your tires can probably withstand the trip. Worn tire treads can make it hard for tires to safely navigate roads in inclement weather, so don’t discount the importance of this simple step. • Bring along some basic tools. Pack some basic tools, such as screw drivers, wrenches, pliers, a trolley jack, a battery charger, and, of course, duct tape, which may help you temporarily solve some issues on your own. This is especially important for drivers who intend to visit remote locations where mobile phone networks may be inaccessible and the nearest tow truck might be far away. Hone your tire-changing skills before hitting the road and make sure tools are still capable of performing the kind of basic maintenance that might help your vehicle safely return to civilization. Vehicle breakdowns happen, even while on vacation. Some advance preparation can help drivers avert outof-town disasters. ? MetroCreativeConnection Maintaining a vehicle is more than just a way to protect one’s financial investment. Vehicle maintenence can protect against accidents and make the road safer for drivers and their passengers as well as their fellow motorists. Fully functioning brakes are an important component of automotive safety. In its 2015 Crash Stats report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that brake-related problems accounted for 22 percent of crashes where vehicular failure was cited as the cause of the collision. Bad brakes are particularly notorious for rear-end collisions. Faulty, worn brake lines, antilock brake system malfunctions and worn brake pads and discs are some potential brake problems. It is important that motorists learn to recognize the first symptoms of brake trouble so they can address issues before they put drivers, their passengers and other motorists at risk of accident or injury. • Unusual noises: Screeching, grinding, rubbing, and high-pitched sounds are common indicators that brake pads, rotors and other parts of the braking system need attention. Worn pads can cause damage to other vehicle parts, resulting in more expensive repairs if they’re not addressed promptly. • Pulling: If the car pulls to one side when applying the brakes, this may indicate brake pad linings are wearing home and simulates the effect of a 20 mph wind to find air down unevenly. A brake adjustment may be necessary. leaks; and watt meter measurements to test energy usage by Pulling also may be indicative of an object or debris various devices throughout the house. caught in the brake fluid. Before an auditor comes to the house, homeowners can • Less responsive: If when pressing on the brake pedal make a list of any problems or concerns they want to discuss the brakes just do not seem to be as effective as they with the auditor. The auditor also may interview the homeowner to learn about how the home normally runs and can once were, or it is necessary to press the pedal harder analyze energy bills to determine typical energy consumption. for the brakes to engage, there may be a brake fluid leak Windows, doors, HVAC systems, insulation, fireplaces, and or an air leak. Check under the vehicle to see if any fluids lighting fixtures all may be assessed during a professional are pooling. audit. • Pungent odors: Firestone Tire Company says a burnEven though a professional audit is usually the best way ing smell may be indicative of worn out brake pads and to determine where a home is losing energy, homeowners can friction on the tires. Each of these issues require immediconduct their own audits to detect and fix problems. Locatate attention. ing and sealing air leaks, addressing inadequate ventilation, •Vibrations: Certain vibrations may indicate brake checking that insulation levels and vapor barriers are at issues. Rotors can become warped from metal-on-metal recommended levels, and inspecting HVAC systems should be rubbing, potentially leading to a failure of the vehicle to part of any DIY audit. If a heating/cooling unit is more than 15 brake properly. Vibrations also may indicate tires are years old, the DOE suggests having it replaced with a newer, misaligned. These problems can be properly assessed by energy-efficient unit. a trained mechanic. An energy audit can identify areas around a home where Do not let potential brake problems go unchecked. improvements can be made to reduce energy consumption Keeping brakes in good working order helps drivers stop and waste. Upgrading to new appliances, replacing light bulbs, sealing drafts, improving insulation, and addressing moisture more readily and avoid collisions. and water leaks can be good for the environment and help ? MetroCreativeConnection homeowners save money. Considering an Energy Audit? Get Informed Overconsumption of energy is a problem that plagues many homeowners. Wasting energy can hurt homeowners’ bottom lines and the planet. But many homeowners aren’t aware just how much energy their homes are consuming and even wasting. That’s why a home energy audit can be so important. A home energy audit or assessment investigates just how much energy a home consumes so homeowners can make their homes more energy efficient. Audits identify where energy is being wasted and can offer suggestions to fix the problem. The U.S. Department of Energy advises that the average U.S. household consumes around 90 million btus in a year. Of the energy used in homes, nearly 50 percent goes to heating and cooling. Water heating, appliances, electronics, and lighting account for the remaining consumption. Consumers can save between 5 and 30 percent on home energy bills by getting a home energy audit and making the adjustments advised by auditors. There are two types of energy audits: professional and do-it-yourself. Professional auditors will go room-to-room to assess a home’s energy use. Typical testing includes thermographic scans and infrared cameras to determine air leakage and insulation; a blower door test, which depressurizes the ? MetroCreativeConnection • AUTOMOTIVE COLLISION REPAIR • PAINT • FRAMEWORK • GLASS REPLACEMENT HOURS: M-F 9AM-6PM SAT 9AM-12PM 1205 CARR STREET • VERMILLION • 605.670.0471 BlainesBodyShop@gmail.com Get ready for your fall maintenance with oil, filter, battery and cleaning supplies. 1114 Princeton • Vermillion, SD 57069 605-202-7231 CALL BIG CITY SELECTION, SMALL TOWN SERVICE TODAY! ALL TYPES OF DIRT WORK - FREE ESTIMATES Bobcats • Crane • Dozers • Excavators • Grader Grain Trailer • Scrapers • Side Dumps • Trenchers Irrigation Sales & Service 5 W Main St., Vermillion • (605)624-7491 Vermillion, SD (605)670-9567 Hartington, NE (402)254-2568 Licensed in SD, NE & IA Irrigation PVC, Wire Installed, Well Drilling Domestic & Irrigation Pump Installation WATERLINE & ELECTRIC TRENCHING Tree & Concrete Removal, Site Clearing, & Ditch Trenching
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