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Tips for Avoiding Deer Collisions

Dusk and dawn are the periods of time when deer crossings occur most often. It can also be more difficult to see at dusk or dawn, since it is neither completely light or dark outside.

Drive at a safe speed. You will have more time to react should a deer or any other animal cross your path.

If you do come across a deer, try not to slam on your brakes or swerve into another lane.

Whenever possible, use your high-beams when driving in areas with wildlife. They can help illuminate a deer's eyes from afar, giving you proper warning.

Consider investing in one of the "deer whistle" products. These whistles emit ultra-sonic noise when driving over a specific speed and they are supposedly only audible to animals. Unfortunately, studies have shown them to be largely ineffective at minimizing accidents.

Should you see a deer getting ready to cross the road or one that is already in the middle of it, loudly honk your vehicle's horn. This will scare most deer and they'll go back into the woods.

Finally, watch the vehicles in front of you. Be prepared to stop suddenly, as there's no telling when a herd may decide to cross, forcing the drivers in front of you to slam on their brakes.

How to Select An Auto Repair Facility

Start with the most obvious. Is the facility neat and clean? Are employees genuinely concerned with your questions and are their answers direct, to the point and reasonable?

To view the "How To Select An Auto Repair Facility" series produced by National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), click here.

Look at the credentials of the business and the employees who will service your vehicle. Most shops will post educational certifications or accomplishments and professional business affiliations in their waiting areas. Some affiliations to look for include trade association membership, such as the Automotive Service Association (ASA), and membership in the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Look for certification or education offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE),the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair(I-CAR) and the Automotive Management Institute (AMI).

Ask about the equipment used to diagnose and perform the service. Is it up-to-date and are the technicians educated in the proper equipment use?

Make sure a written estimate is provided prior to letting the business begin the repair. A good rule of thumb is to request approval on any changes to the original estimate that exceed 10 percent.

Ask about the shop's warranty. Most automotive service facilities will warranty their parts and labor either in writing or in shop posted announcements.

Ask family, friends and neighbors for their recommendations. Word-of-mouth referrals are the shop's best form of advertising.

Detailing Your Car

Detailing your car regularly can keep it looking new longer. Here are some tips from the experts:
Start with the interior so you won't mess up a freshly cleaned exterior. Vacuum carpets and seats and then remove stains with stain remover and a brush. Let seats and carpet dry completely. Clean the non-cloth portions of your vehicle with a soapy solution and a soft cloth. Use cotton swabs or brushes to clean the cracks. Dry thoroughly. Don't spray cleaner directly on the dashboard; apply cleaner directly to your rags and other cleaning tools. Clean your windshield last with glass cleaner, drying thoroughly to minimize streaks. Begin the exterior detail with your wheels. Use a car washing solution rather than household detergents to ensure you don't strip the wax from your wheels. Use a pressure hose or a brush to scrub. Wash the rest of the car in sections, ensuring you change your water and rag often. Use smaller tools like brushes to focus on the detailed areas around your mirrors, door handles and grill. Dry your vehicle thoroughly with a chamois, and wax, if desired. Clean your exterior windows last.

Caring for a Freshly Painted Vehicle

Wash by hand or touchless carwash, not a commercial brush or soft cloth system. In the summer, wash in the shade with cold water. In the winter, wash with warm water. Do not use detergents or cleaners- use only water. After wash, wipe off all water spots with a clean, soft cloth
Do not wax, polish, or apply any sealant products for at least 90 days after painting. Keep vehicle from unnecessary extremes of high and low temperatures. Avoid parking under trees or near industrial facilities with heavy fall out/smoke. Avoid driving on gravel roads.