Commutes to work are longer than ever, according to the most recent U.S. Census, with the average commute time up 20 percent since the Census began tracking this data in 1980. The more time we spend in our cars, the more important it becomes to make sure our vehicles are comfortable and safe places to be, says the non-profit Car Care Council.
The Car Care Council has a number of tips for commuters to help ensure their trips to and from work are as enjoyable and worry-free as possible.
• Change your cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is responsible for cleaning the air entering the passenger compartment. A functioning cabin air filter will help keep dirt, pollen, dust and exhaust fumes from entering your vehicle’s interior. Changing the cabin air filter at recommended intervals will allow you and your passengers to breathe clean air free from allergens and pollutants while commuting to and from work.
• Maintain vehicle safety systems. A vehicle’s wipers, mirrors, lights and brakes are key safety features that require routine maintenance. To ensure that you can see and be seen while on the road, make sure all lights are properly functioning, mirrors are clean, and both are properly aligned. Replace wiper blades that are cracked, chattering or streaking in order to maintain a clean windshield. Because driving in stop-and-go traffic is hard on a vehicle’s braking system, have your brakes inspected regularly as brakes are your car’s most important safety feature.
• A clean car makes a happy driver. The more time spent in the cars, the more likely dirt and clutter will collect inside. Maintaining a clean vehicle not only makes for a more comfortable drive, but it also contributes to a vehicle’s safety and longevity. Remember to keep the floors free of debris that may obstruct the foot pedals, and wash your car regularly to protect the paint, minimize rust and corrosion, and keep your windows clean for improved visibility.
To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.
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