The Most Important Tool to Keep your Car Safe
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When I talk to people about DIY (Do It Yourself) work on their cars, they often tell me that they don't have the tools. Well -- personal inadequacies aside -- you don't have to have a shop full of tools like a NASCAR team to help keep your car safely on the road. What's pictured above is a plain cement construction block (any similarly sized brick will work). Hit the Read More link below to see how this Important Automotive Safety Testing Tool is used...
Your brake lights are one of the most significant safety features your car has. Rear-end collisions account for 1/3 of all collisions, and are the single most common type of automotive accidents -- including accidents with serious injuries. In addition to a cars' regular brake lights, a 3rd brake light or "CHiMSL" (Central Hi Mounted Stop Light) has been required on US market cars since 1986. But these lights don't help you avoid a crash if they don't work. Having all of your stop lights working is critically important. Further more, they do fail -- even on nearly brand-new cars. The stop lights are brighter than the other tail lights -- Brighter means more energy and thus more heating and more frequent failure. But wait... There's more... The push for manufactures to include the latest technology, yet reduce costs, has caused some of them to use LED lighting that is not "Top Shelf" quality. LED's are most common in the CHiMSL, and I've seem many late model cars with some or all of the LED's in the CHiMSL out.
Yes, I'm the Cynic, but it's not just my Cynicism that makes the story get even worse. It's easy to check your head lamps, turn signals (indicators) and running lights. Just flip them on, and walk around your car. (The ignition has to be on for the turn signals to work.) But the brake lights don't come on unless your are pressing the brake pedal, and you can't be a 2 places at once. That's where our highly specialized automotive safety tool pictured above comes in. Just set it on the brake pedal and walk around to the rear of the car. Check all of your stop lights, especially that life-saving CHiMSL. If you find a problem, replace the bulb or light assembly, or take it to a shop and have it fixed.
Note: A rag or piece of carpet can protect your floor mats, and the brake pedal. Of course, you can always have a friend or family member lend a helping foot.
Pass It On: Share this article or send the link for this article (see below) to anyone you do not want to get rid of. Put your foot down (or a brick) for safety!
Why is automotive safety so important? Read this article about Driving and the Integral of Danger.
Disclaimer: This article attempts to objectively convey information about automotive engineering topics only. Ultimately you are responsible for any use of this information, or any actions you take. Always drive safely.