A few years ago, we posted an article on How To Polish Tarnished Headlights Using A Mother’s Powerball Mini. While this process is effective on headlights with minor blemishes, there are cases where a more intensive course of action is required. When headlight lenses are moderately to severely hazed, really only one method is truly effective and that is using automotive-grade sandpaper. This easy, inexpensive repair can restore the headlight lens and dramatically improve night driving safety. Below are the steps to perform this task along with an image slideshow.

While you may be hesitant to take to your headlights with sandpaper, don’t be concerned. The sandpaper used is of a very fine grit which will polish off the tarnished plastic, as well as smooth out minor dents and imperfections. The key throughout the sanding process is to constantly keep the headlight wet as you sand. This is a wet sanding process, so if you never let the work area dry out while you polish, all will be well.

While we are confident on the safety of this process, go through the following steps on a corner of your headlight first before performing this on the whole lens. All of the items needed are inexpensive and available at any auto parts store.

Items Needed

  • Automotive sandpaper sheets in 1000, 2000 and 3000 grit (this is the finest grit).
  • Masking tape for painting
  • A water spray bottle
  • Metal polish or headlight polish.
  • Meguiar’s PlastX Plastic Polish
  • Rags, polishing cloth or paper towels.

 

Step One
Soak the sandpaper sheets in a pail of water for 20 minutes as you prepare to start. They soak up the water and improve the wet sanding performance.

Step Two
Clean off headlight lens of any dirt, dead bugs or grit of any sort.

Step Three
Using painting masking tape, mask off surrounding painted and grill areas to prevent accidental damage.

Step Four
Spray the headlight with water and using the 1000 grit sandpaper, sand in a horizontal direction using a short, fast polishing motion with light to moderate pressure. After you have completed the headlight in a horizontal direction, start again in a vertical direction until you have covered the damaged area. Do not sand in a swirling motion. Again, keep the area wet at all times. Perform the sanding process with the 1000 grit paper until you are confident that you have removed most of the tarnished material.

Step Five
Wipe down the headlight lens and inspect your work. The lens will have a definite haze, so do not be alarmed by this. Start sanding with the 2000 grit sandpaper, again covering the lens in a complete horizontal direction and then crossing it in a vertical direction. Remember to spray the lens with water to prevent dry sanding while you work. Sand with the 2000 grit paper several times.

Step Six
Wipe down the lens and then start the wet sanding process with the 3000 grit paper. This fine sandpaper grit performs the final polishing. Do keep in mind the lens with still be hazed when you complete the sanding, but the headlight polish and final polishing with Meguiar’s PlastX will remove this.

Step Seven
Polish the lens with metal polish or headlight polish, we used Fix-It Headlight Polish from Walmart. Go through this step several times.

Step Eight
Complete the final polishing with several applications of Meguiar’s PlastX.

Bonus Tip
Meguiar’s PlastX is a very handy item to have around your shop and home. We have used it to reduce scratches on car radio displays and cordless phone displays. PlastX also revitalizes taillight lenses. It will even safely remove rust on shower surrounds. This is a high quality product that we have appreciated for many years.

Note: We do not sell any of the items listed in this article.

A Water Spray Bottle and Container of Wet Ones

A simple spray bottle of water and a container of Wet Ones can clean dirty headlights and avert potential danger on the road.

Late winter and early spring is the messiest time of year on our streets and highways. Water, grime and salt spray not only makes a mess of our cars and trucks, it can actually make driving quite hazardous.

We were recently visiting another city and the streets were very wet due to melting snow. Regular shots of windshield washer fluid kept our vision clear for the day, but when we set out for home after dark, it was quite a different story. Once we left the city and started out on a rural highway, it was like our headlights were completely burned out. Our headlights were so coated with grime and salt-spray that they were rendered completely useless.

As soon as possible, we exited on to a side road and cleaned off the headlights with several Wet-Ones hand wipes. This fixed the situation and we were back on the road in no time with a perfectly safe view of the road.

We now make sure that we have a full water spray bottle and a good supply of hand wipes along before venturing off on a road trip. The spray bottle is especially handy for blasting grime off of the following vital items.

  • Headlights
  • Taillights
  • Side mirrors
  • Marker lights
  • Rear view camera lens

These two items can make world of difference so that you can see and be seen at night and during inclement weather.

Daytime Running Light Circuit Board

Circuit board from DRL module in 2005 Nissan Altima

This easy fix could save you hundreds of dollars. Do not be intimidated by complicated appearance of this task. Read on!

If the daytime running lights (also known as “DRL”) in your Honda/Acura or Nissan/Infinti vehicle are not working, have a good look at this article before taking your vehicle to the dealer or replacing the running light module. In all likelihood, there is fast and inexpensive solution to this issue that could save you a lot of money.

We noticed that the daytime running lights on our 2005 Nissan Altima were out and also only one headlight was working in high-beam mode. We initially assumed that a burned out bulb was causing the problem. But a quick internet search pointed to a faulty daytime running light module. Apparently the driver’s-side high-beam goes out when the DRL module malfunctions.

We also discovered that a small solder job on the module circuit board could easily repair the problem. We are certainly not experts in electronics or circuit board repair, but as a new module apparently sells for over $250 at the dealership, we were game to give it a try.

For our Altima, this forum thread at Nissanclub.com (post # 30) provided the exact location of the unit under the dash and the exact spots on the circuit board that generally require solder touch-up. We (carefully!) doctored up the spots shown in the image of the thread, as well as a few others that appeared discolored. We reinstalled the module and voila! We had daytime running lights and fully functioning high-beams. Thank-you internet! We didn’t even have to remove any dash panels to complete this task.

It is vital that you do your research before jumping into this job, as DRL module locations can vary. You do not want to be soldering the innards of the wrong module box! For helpful dis-assembly and soldering tips, do check out the two videos below.

Honda DRL Module Repairs

It seems as though daytime running light repairs on Honda vehicles are very common and thankfully there is a load of guidance out there. Even if you do not own a Honda, check out these two videos as they are very helpful. The fellow performing the repair on the CRV is especially adept with a soldering iron.

Honda CRV Daytime Running Light Repair Video

Honda Civic, Accord, Prelude Daytime Running Light Repair Video

Permatex Bullseye Windshield Repair KitNote that we do not sell this product and have no relationship with Permatex or any of its subsidiaries.

Update: September 29, 2014- We had to perform another windshield repair on a family vehicle over the weekend and picked up the 3M Windshield Repair Kit at a nearby store. As mentioned in this article, the 3M kit does not have great online reviews, but we came away impressed. We repaired a stone bruise that was about 1cm in diameter and the results were quite adequate. Sorry we did not have a camera handy! An advantage of the 3M kit over the Permatex kit is that you can repair multiple stone chips with one kit, whereas the Permatex kit is a “one and done” application. The Permatex kit seems to offer a better process for pulling air from the damage in order to get more complete injection of the resin. But we can’t swear that it does a better job over 3M. Our verdict is that if we had one stone chip to repair, we’d opt for Permatex. If we had a few chips to repair, we’d go with the 3M kit.

Stone chips on your car’s windshield are more than just a cosmetic irritant. If a chip or bruise is predisposed to spreading, a minor ding can eventually destroy your expensive windshield. Have you priced one of those out lately? Ouch.

After a recent family trip, we noticed a tiny pit in the upper visor region of the passenger side. Small pits are often harmless, but this one had two little “wings” coming out of each side. This was one stone pit that has the potential to run amuck, so we began exploring options. Professional stone chip repair tends to cost anywhere from $50 to $75, depending on the firm and the severity of the damage. Not bad a bad price to pay if the repair saves your windshield.

There are also several “do-it-yourself” windshield chip repair kits on the market that (according to consumer reviews), seem to be fairly effective. As we enjoy trying the do-it-yourself option on many tasks and as this stone ding was relatively minor, we opted to give one of these kits a go.

The two kits available nearby were made by 3M and Permatex. The reviews on the 3M kit were less than flattering while the Permatex kit reviews were favorable (on average). As we had great results using the Permatex Rearview Mirror Adhesive Kit earlier this year, we felt comfortable opting for the Permatex Bullseye Windshield Repair Kit. This kit can retail anywhere from $12-$17.

Before using one of these kits, keep in mind that you should not expect the repair result to be 100% invisible. Permatex states this on the packaging. While this caveat may be an effort to head off any disappointment in the appearance of the outcome, the ultimate goal of this process is to prevent a stone chip from spreading. As our stone chip is in an area of the windshield that is completely inconsequential, we thought we’d take a flyer on the Permatex kit.

Below is the stone chip in question. It is about 6 mm in length and was very difficult to see in a photo. We placed painters tape on the outside of the windshield to provide improved contrast.

Stone Chip Before Repair

Here is the stone chip before the repair. Note the seagull shaped item in the middle of the painters tape.

Permatex produced an outstanding YouTube instructional video as shown below. It complements the instructions included with the kit and is well-worth a view or two before tackling this project.

A Few Notes Before Starting

Items shown in the video that are not included with the product include alcohol wipes (for cleaning the area), a push pin for cleaning out the pit of the damaged area and a razor scraper. Do have rubbing alcohol and paper towel, a pin or fine tool for cleaning loose glass from the pit and a scraper on hand before starting.

Also Permatex suggests that the windshield temperature be between 10°C and 24°C for best results. We are not sure whether this process would work in a heated shop during the winter. The final step involves parking the vehicle in the sun to cure the resin. It may work, but with much longer curing times. We carried out this job in a garage on sunny 23°C day. We had plenty of sun for the final curing process.

The Results

We were initially disappointed with the finished result as the wings of the stone ding seemed to still be noticeable. We wondered if we had failed or if the product was ineffective. We knew that we had a good seal during the critical “injection” process, so we were fairly confident that we had held up our end of the bargain. Then we compared the “after” photo to the “before” photo and began to change our tune. The wings of the shone chip that were so evident in the “before” photo were barely detectable in more than a dozen “after” photo tries. That tells us that the resin of the repair kit did indeed penetrate the stone blemish and should prevent spreading.

We took photos from every angle and in all sorts of light and this was the best one.

Stone Chip After Repair

Again we used painters tape on the outside of the windshield to allow the stone crack to show up in the photo. Note that the crack is definitely finer than in the “before” image.

Bottom Line

We give Permatex top marks for instructions and overall quality of the kit components. Everything fit and sealed well and went exactly according to plan. Again, the above video is an invaluable learning tool. Ultimately, the final judgement on whether or not this process is a complete success will happen next winter. If the stone ding does not spread, then we can call this repair a success. If it does spread, we will provide an update at the top of this very page.

Why You Must Change this Commonly Held Driving Misconception

When most all of us were trained to drive, it was universally taught that the correct steering wheel hand positions were located at “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock”. This was the steering position that gave the driver the best leverage and maneuverability to control the vehicle in the days prior to power steering. This hand position was ingrained and many driving instructors teach this to this day. But these days, auto safety experts are telling us that the “10 and 2” steering position is incorrect and potentially very dangerous.

Why is the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock Hand Position Wrong?

The simple reason is the advent of the modern airbag located in the center of the steering wheel. In the event of an air bag deployment, hands in the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position (or hands at the 12 o’clock position) can be driven into your face with tremendous force. Despite the lifesaving aspects of air bags, serious hand, arm and facial injuries can result from having your arms in the way when an airbag deploys.

According to auto safety experts (including the American Automobile Association), the new correct hand position is located at either “9 o’clock and 3 o’clock” or at “8 o’clock and 4 o’clock”. In these positions, your arms will more likely be directed to the sides in an air bag deployment, rather than straight back at your head. Most steering wheels have spokes at “9 and 3”, so you can safely rest your hands there and never have to hunt around for the proper steering position. With modern power steering, vehicle control is effortless when using these hand positions and you are less likely to be injured by your own arms in a crash. The images below show the right and wrong way to grip the steering wheel.

Wrong Steering Wheel Hand Positions

10 o'clock and 2 o'clock steering position

The 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock steering wheel position is now considered unsafe.

The 12 o'clock steering wheel position

The common 12 o’clock steering position is also dangerous.

New Correct Steering Wheel Hand Positions

The safer 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock steering position

The 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock steering wheel position is now deemed to be safer.

The 8 o'clock and 4 o'clock steering postion

Even the 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock steering wheel position is a safer option.

 

Car Headlights at NightHave you shopped for a replacement headlight bulb for your car lately? The simple act of buying a headlight bulb has become quite a confusing undertaking. Standard headlight bulbs retail for under $10, while premium “superwhite” bulb sets can cost upwards of $70. Do “superwhite” and “blue” bulbs actually improve your vision of the road at night or during inclement weather? Are they worth the extra money? What about HID headlights and HID-conversion kits? While the lighting on today’s cars is quite effective, there seems to more myths and misinformation regarding this subject than ever.

For these and other questions, we turn to renowned automotive lighting expert Daniel Stern of Daniel Stern Lighting. Mr. Stern is one of the most sought-after consultants on this subject and he was gracious enough to offer his wisdom regarding truths and myths of modern automotive lighting. He pulls no punches and “names-names” and you may be surprised by some of his answers.

Daniel Stern is the General Editor of DrivingVisionNews.com, the global automotive lighting industry journal. He is a committee chair in the SAE Lighting Systems Group, and participates in the research and development of Canadian, U.S., and international vehicle lighting technical standards and rules. Based in Vancouver, BC, Mr. Stern has written state and provincial vehicle lighting codes and inspection protocols, served as an expert witness in lawsuits related to vehicle lighting and been a product development manager for aftermarket vehicle lights. He owns four unusual cars and in his spare time he collects technically and historically significant car lights.

Oildepot: Every bulb manufacturer now offers at least one “premium”, “super white” halogen bulb option and these are marketed as an upgrade over standard bulbs. Of course with headlights being a vital safety item, consumers can easily be motivated to buy what they perceive to be the best option. What are your current thoughts on this expensive class of bulbs? Are there any aftermarket bulbs that can actually improve the performance of a stock headlamp system?

Daniel Stern: It’s important to define what is meant by “premium”. There are lots of  premium-priced headlight bulbs on offer, but a bulb promoted as being special or better, and priced higher than a standard bulb, isn’t necessarily going to improve your ability to see at night—it may even worsen it!

Before we get to that, though, what works? Stick with bulbs from the few reputable makers (in no special order: Osram/Sylvania, Philips/Narva, GE/Tungsram). They all offer a variety of choices for most bulb formats. In general, the long-life bulbs won’t perform as well as the standard bulbs, and the standard bulbs are outperformed by the performance bulbs (such as GE Night Hawk and Night Hawk Platinum, Sylvania Xtravision, Osram Night Breaker, Philips Xtreme, and Narva Rangepower) with colorless, clear glass.

Colorless, clear glass? Yes, insist on it. There is absolutely zero actual, real benefit—none at all—to the so-called “whiter” light produced by a bulb that has a blue or purple color to its glass (Sylvania Silver Star/Ultra and ZxE, GE Night Hawk Sport, Philips Crystal Vision, and a lot of others). These bulbs (poorly) imitate the color, but not the performance, of HID and LED headlamps. Claims that you can see better with this “whiter” light are not based on any valid science; for one thing, the light from such a bulb isn’t actually “whiter” in any real sense. Also, there is light loss through any amount of filtration; no matter how faint the blue tint might be, it’s still blocking light that would reach the road if the glass were not tinted. That’s what filters do; they filter the light by blocking part of it. Despite the claims, as a class these “whiter light” bulbs produce less light than a standard bulb; you’re trading away intensity (amount of light) for a change in the light color. In headlighting, intensity is at the top of the short list of what actually influences your ability to see.

A wide range of color appearance is permitted by a broad specification for what is considered “white” light, but even within that broad “white” range a change in light color does not improve the actual, real safety performance of a headlamp. You can create more glare by shifting the light towards blue (such as with these so-called “whiter light” bulbs), but the extra glare comes with poorer seeing even in dry weather; in foul weather the seeing degradation is aggravated. And a high-zoot filament has to be used in these bulbs to get minimum legal amounts of light through the light-stealing blue filter, so lifespan is short. It’s really a lose-lose-lose deal: a high-priced bulb that puts out less usable light over a shorter lifespan. Vote against it with your dollars.

The exception to this no-blue-glass advisory is in today’s top-performing upgrade halogen bulbs such as the GE Night Hawk Platinum and Osram Night Breaker. These have a blue ring or tip, but they have colorless clear glass for the filament to “look” through, so there’s no tinted glass between the filament and the headlamp reflector. That way there’s no light loss but other drivers still see some blue glint as your headlamps cross their vision. There’s actually a technical reason why the blue ring is there, it’s not just for fashion: headlight bulbs are tightly regulated in all their physical dimensions, their electric power consumption, and their light output. This is so that any regulation bulb of a given type will fit and work correctly, safely, and legally in any headlamp designed to take that kind of bulb.

But this doesn’t mean all bulbs perform alike. Not only are there tolerances permitted on the physical dimensions — which is why you should stick to the reputable-brand bulbs, because quality matters — but also the range of allowable light output can be up to 30%. Bulbs are tested for output in a piece of equipment called an integrating sphere. Since a bulb emits light in all directions (a sphere), the integrating sphere measures all the light coming from the bulb. But a headlamp doesn’t work the same as an integrating sphere; the headlamp optic only “looks” at the filament from certain angles. If the blue ring wasn’t there to reduce total overall light output (in the sphere), the bulb would measure as producing too much light. When installed in a headlamp, such a bulb gives the driver the benefit of more usable light while still meeting the legal requirements.

There’s another class of bulbs worth discussing here, that’s pretty new: the type designed to consume less power than a standard bulb. Examples are the Sylvania EcoBright and the Philips EcoVision. These are promoted as saving fuel, but they can give a nice improvement in headlamp performance for a reason that might not be obvious. Many vehicles, especially as they age, have a significant amount of resistance in the headlamp circuit. Wires and connections and switch contacts don’t improve with age! Light output from a bulb drops exponentially with voltage drop, not in direct linear step. These eco bulbs, by drawing less current, can reduce the effective voltage drop in the headlamp circuit, which can make these lower-wattage bulbs burn brighter than a higher-wattage standard bulb.

Lastly on this, DO NOT install bulbs of a higher wattage than specified for the application. It’s not safe. Higher-wattage bulbs draw more current than the wiring is capable of supplying efficiently, and they can overheat the lamps, permanently damaging them.

Oildepot: So to make this crystal clear (no pun intended), one is far better off buying a $10 standard Sylvania or Phillips replacement halogen bulb rather than a mega-dollar set of Piaa, Sylvania Silver Star/Ultra, ZxE, GE Night Hawk Sport or Philips Crystal Vision?

Daniel Stern: The only reason to buy a PIAA, Silver Star/Ultra/ZxE, Crystal Vision, Night Hawk Sport, or other brand of blue-glass “extra white” bulb is because you think it makes your headlights look cool. But that’s a lousy reason; nobody over the age of 17 cares what your headlights look like. If it’s a choice between one of those bulbs and a standard, ordinary bulb from a reputable maker (Philips, GE, Sylvania), the smart money is on the regular bulb. It’s more effective and cost-effective.

Oildepot: Do headlight bulbs lose their effectiveness over time? Should they be replaced at a certain interval rather than wait for them to burn out?

Daniel Stern: That depends what kind of bulbs we’re talking about. In the North American market, headlight bulbs are usually covered under a new vehicle’s warranty so automakers tend to install long-life bulbs. These start out producing less light and poorer beam focus than a standard bulb, and they last long enough to grow really dim. A standard bulb, a (real) upgrade bulb, or a blue-glass “extra white” bulb, on the other hand, generally will not last long enough to lose a significant amount of its initial output. That said, the different sizes of headlight bulb have very different lifespans. And the condition of the vehicle’s electrical system and headlight circuit play a big role in determining how long the bulbs last and how brightly they burn.

Oildepot: Are HID headlights a worthwhile investment for those purchasing a vehicle that may offer this option?

Daniel Stern: Yes, definitely. And so are the LED headlamps we’re starting to see on models like the Honda Accord and (soon) on the Toyota Corolla.

Oildepot: What are your thoughts on aftermarket HID “conversion” kits?

Daniel Stern: “HID kits” in halogen-bulb headlamps or fog/auxiliary lamps– any kit, any lamp, any vehicle no matter whether it’s a car, truck, motorcycle, etc. — are dangerous, which is why they are illegal. Each headlamp is designed for one kind of light source: an incandescent filament or an HID arc.

Mismatching is like wearing eyeglasses with someone else’s lens prescription: no matter how good the glasses look on your face, you can’t see properly. The same goes for headlamps; an “HID kit” causes a halogen headlamp to produce dangerous levels of glare and an improper distribution of light; no matter how great the extra-bright light might seem, the driver does not have a proper, safe distribution of light. And not only do “HID kits” make real safety problems by spoiling the light distribution of the headlamp, they also cause havoc with newer vehicles’ electronics, sometimes including safety-critical systems like electric power steering and “drive by wire” throttle. See http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html for much more detailed information.

The same goes for “LED bulbs” designed for installation in place of regular filament bulbs in turn signals, brake lights, tail and parking lights, etc. They are all unsafe because they spoil the safety performance of the lamp; don’t use them. And anything that requires you to disassemble your headlamps, which weren’t designed to be taken apart (bake the headlamps in an oven, etc.), such as the aftermarket “angel eye” or “demon eye” light rings or LED strips…anything that needs an “error canceller” or a “load resistor” to try and “trick” the vehicle into not seeing the modified lights…forget it. We’re talking about life safety equipment here, not fashion toys.

Oildepot: What are your thoughts on the functionality of today’s OEM headlights and fog lights offered by auto manufacturers for the North American market?

Daniel Stern: There’s a very wide range of headlamp performance. There have been some really genuinely inadequate headlamps on the market — Federal regulations don’t require good headlamps, just ones that comply with the regulations — but for the most part those days are behind us; generally vehicles tend to come with headlamps that are at least reasonably adequate, and most of today’s vehicles have headlamps that are good to very good.

As for fog lamps: mostly they are useless fashion toys whose only function is to net additional profit for the automaker and dealer.

Oildepot: Can you offer any tips on headlight aiming?

Daniel Stern: Lamp aim is among the most important factors influencing how safe you are at night. Headlamps and fog lamps aimed too low or too high are very dangerous. It can be difficult to find a shop that has a headlamp aiming scope and uses it correctly, but it’s worth the effort; a properly-used headlamp aimer is much more accurate than any kind of “shine it on the wall” method.

Oildepot: Auxiliary lighting such as driving lights and fog lamps are more popular than ever in the import tuner and off-road market. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see drivers making in the installation and placement of these items?

Daniel Stern: “Driving lamp” or “driving light” is a widely misunderstood term. People use it to refer to all kinds of different lights. In fact, driving lamps are auxiliary high beams.

They are effective, safe, and legal only for use with the vehicle’s main high beam headlamps on dark, empty roads (or off road). Never with low beams, never by themselves, and never in traffic. And they need to be mounted up near headlamp height (or higher, in the case of trucks and SUVs and Jeeps and that sort of vehicle) to be effective.

Fog lamps should be mounted as low as possible. But even good fog lamps, which are relatively rare, are of very limited use to most drivers. Fog lamps should be turned OFF most of the time. They are meant to be used in foggy (or rainy/snowy) weather to help the driver see the edges of the road close to the car so s/he can safely make progress through foul weather at very low speeds. That is all these lamps are designed, intended, and able to do — and most of the ones available as factory or optional equipment or in the aftermarket aren’t even capable of doing that. Leaving the fog lamps on at all times does not improve lighting safety performance, though many people do so in the mistaken belief that they can see better this way at normal road speeds in dry weather. In fact, fog lamps in dry weather or at normal road speeds make things worse. They put their light on the road surface close to the car. That creates the comfortable feeling of “good” lighting, but in fact the brighter foreground causes the driver’s eyes to constrict, which greatly reduces the driver’s distance vision.

This is a good time to point out that we humans are poor judges of how well we can (or can’t) see. Our subjective impressions are usually very far out of line with reality; it’s very easy to create situations in which we feel we can see much better than we actually can (or feel we cant’ see nearly as well as we actually can). That can create big safety threats, when we feel we can see better than we actually can.

Oildepot: Please tell us about the services that your company offers.

Daniel Stern: I offer technical consultation and writing on the subject of automotive lighting at all levels — from product design to regulations and performance, expert-witness services related to automotive lighting, and end-user consultation to people trying to improve their ability to see and be seen well, safely, and comfortably when they drive. I also sell certain kinds of lights, and I maintain a large collection of rare and unusual headlamps.

Oildepot: Mr Stern, thanks very much for your time and your wealth of knowledge on this subject.

Daniel Stern: Thanks for your questions, and drive safely!

Summer driving season is upon us and many of us and our loved ones will be on the road. Accidents should not occur under ideal driving conditions, but unfortunately they are a disheartening reality.

Roadtrip America has published the 70 Rules of Defensive Driving by Robert Schaller. Please check out this article and pass it along to friends and loved ones this summer. He states that nearly all collisions are preventable, so let’s do our best to load up on defensive driving knowledge and spread the word.

Of course not, but one often hears people remark how cars from yesteryear were built much more solidly than the “plastic” new cars of today. Yes the old ones were heavy and yes there was lot’s of chrome, but I think we all know that today’s cars are infinitely safer. The US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) commemorated its 50th anniversary by illustrating just how far auto safety has come in the last 50 years. Read more

Yahoo Autos has published two articles that are somewhat related. The first covers features that they believe all cars should have today and second touts important technological advances that are right around the corner. Read more

When buying new tires, can you be sure that the tires being sold are actually “new”? A couple of years ago, we posted an ABC News story on aged tires. The crux of the report was that tires can remain stocked in tire stores for many years and eventually be sold as new. Read more