How To Jump-start A Car

During the winter especially, citizens of Michigan experience trouble starting their cars. While the cold temperatures may cause car batteries to be drained more easily, car problems such as this occur all year round. In the event a car doesn't start, Forbes Magazine provides a step-by-step list for drivers who don't know how or for those who merely need a refresher on how to recharge the battery on their car.

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Forbes' Tips On How To Jump-start A Car

1. Make sure the two cars are close to one another - preferably that the front of the cars are close. Jumper cables will only stretch so far, plus you want to eliminate any chance of tripping over the cords and detaching them. 

2. Locate the car’s battery. It is usually found under a plastic cover to the side of the engine.

3. Identify the positive and negative terminals. The positive is usually identified with a “+” sign and the negative with a “-” sign. Once the terminals are identified, attach the cables to the proper terminal, negative with negative and positive with positive, on both batteries.   

4. Start the engine of the running car. Run the engine of the car for about a minute or two while revving the engine.

5. Now try and start the car with the dead battery. If the car still refuses to start, check the cables again to see if they are properly attached, remember to be careful, it is electricity after all.  

6. Repeat. If the car does not start try jumping it again.

7. Call for service. After several attempts at starting the car and it still refuses, the only choice left is to call for help, i.e. a mechanic, tow truck, etc. 

Additional Tips To Keep In Mind

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If the vehicle refuses to start or run while on the road, try to move the car to the side of the road or shoulder to avoid being hit or causing a potential car accident. Motorists could also benefit from buying and keeping flares and/or reflective hazard signs in their car to alert other drivers that they are stranded.

Lastly, It is important to remember that even if a driver successfully starts the car, it is still a good idea to have the car serviced. After all, there could be other underlying issues that prevented the car from working properly in the first place, other than a depleted battery. Therefore, Forbes advises getting a technician to check the car’s battery first and foremost, but to also check other components such as the car’s belts, hoses, wiring, and fluids. 

There is no guarantee that your car will immediately start by jump-starting it, especially if there are other factors involved in its breakdown. However, if a jump-start is all that is needed, following these tips from Forbes is a safe way to restart a battery. Of course, when in doubt, seek a professional!

Though winter has come to an end, Michigan drivers may still face situations in which their car won't start. It's smart for any driver to brush up on how to properly jump-start a car or look into purchasing a jump-starter box. If you or someone you know have been involved in a motor vehicle collision do to car problems, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC, today at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.  

Tips For Extending The Life Of Your Vehicle

Vehicle turnaround for families is becoming somewhat of an issue, as it seems they are back at the dealership, looking for a new car, after just a few years. While the turnaround is often due to safety reasons, there is a lot drivers can do themselves to extend the life of their current vehicle, to prolong spending money on a new car. Below are some tips that can help get the most out of your vehicle:

Change Oil Regularly

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Without engine oil, a car motor is running dry and can cause damage by overheating. By ensuring your engine oil is always full and clean, an engine's life may be significantly prolonged, extending the life of a car significantly. Sources differ on how often oil changes are necessary, but somewhere between every 5,000 and 7,500 miles, an oil change is recommended. If driving in strenuous conditions, it is recommended to get an oil change every 3,000 miles or less. If synthetic oil is used, an engine  may only need changing every 7,500 miles due to its durability. Many new cars will monitor oil life automatically, but it is always best to ensure you stay on track with oil changes.

Make Sure Tires Are Properly Inflated

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Not only will this help extend the life of a car, but it will also save drivers financially. By ensuring that tires are properly inflated, vehicles will give the most miles per gallon. If tires are under or over-inflated, drivers have a higher risk of a blowout occurring, increase their tire ware, have lesser car handling, increased fuel emissions, and increased risk of an accident. Most cars inform drivers of the proper PSI levels on the inside of the drivers-side door, but all information can be found in the owner's manual. 

Check Transmission Fluid Regularly

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Transmission fluid essentially ensures that the transmission in the car shifts well. Without transmission fluid, a transmission does not shift properly and can lead to damage. Drivers will have trouble shifting when accelerating, experience poor gas mileage, and may even have to replace their transmission. 

Keep Power Steering Fluid Full

Not many drivers have driven without power steering, and for good reason. It is very difficult to maintain control of the vehicle, and the steering wheel may even lock up on the driver, which can lead to even bigger issues. By keeping the power steering fluid topped off, drivers literally gain a better grip on their driving.

Maintain A Clean Air Filter

A dirty air filter can cost drivers in gas mileage and also in harm to the engine and other core aspects of the vehicle under the hood. Air filters are easy to check up on and can be found at almost any auto-repair shop for a fair price. Plus, no one wants to breathe in dirty air and potentially get sick.

Stock Up On Coolant And Anti-Freeze for Harsh Weather

In warm climates, a car without coolant can overheat within minutes of being turned on. This can cause damage to a vehicle. In colder climates, cars can acutally freeze while sitting in the driveway without antifreeze. Both of these are very important to keep stocked because without them a vehicle can be damaged by the elements.

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Schedule Routine Car Checkups

It is always important to take vehicles in for checkups, because the trained professionals at auto repair shops often catch things drivers may have missed. Routine checkups are important to ensure a car lives to its full potential, even if nothing is discovered at most of them.

Even with all these precautions for maintaining the life of a car, even the most cautious drivers can't prevent some accidents from happening.  Injuries can range from bumps and bruises, to Traumatic Brain Injuries, and can have life long effects. If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, including car crashes which have been caused by defective cars. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.