ESPN's Jamie Little and Car Expert Danielle McCormick Share Car Care Tips for Women

ESPN's Jamie Little and Car Expert Danielle McCormick Share Car Care Tips for Women

With Danica Patrick's recent pole position win at the Daytona 500 and Katherine Legge putting together the first all-women team for the Indy 500 last year, women are beginning to be recognized for their driving accomplishments on and off the track. Those wins, combined with a USA Today report that shows women now outnumber men on the road, mean that women are being taken more seriously as drivers. With that in mind, auto world celebrity Jamie Little and car expert Danielle McCormick-authors of the new Seal Press book Essential Car Care for Women-have teamed up to offer some solid car care advice for women.

Essential Car Care for Women offers women indispensable, hard-won advice women need to buy, sell, and care for their cars with confidence. The book, now available at bookstores and at online retailers, has been endorsed by popular NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, who called it "A must-have addition to your emergency car care kit."

Little and McCormick offer a wealth of tips in the book, but below are their top five car care tips for women.

1. Check and change oil regularly
A car's engine has lots of rapidly moving parts which require lubricant to make sure they run smoothly. Running out of oil can be a disaster. Make sure to open the hood every four to six weeks to make sure the car has enough oil. Similarly, drivers should look into changing their oil and filters every few months. Like a deep fryer in a restaurant, the oil gathers tiny particles of dirt over time and needs to be changed.

2. Don't skip the shop
It is all too easy for drivers to skip having their car regularly serviced, as mechanics will attest to, only bringing a car in the shop when something goes wrong (often with a hefty price tag). Getting a car serviced every 12,000 miles is the best way to prevent any unexpected, expensive surprises in the near future. Also, a car's engine gets unbelievably hot, but coolant has been designed to keep things from burning over. Running out of coolant causes serious (and expensive) damage to cars. Make sure to check coolant levels simultaneously with an oil check.

3. Keep tires pumped and watch treads
After a while, air slowly leaks out of tires. Like cycling on a bicycle with low air in the tires, vehicles with low tire pressure have to exert extra energy (and therefore more gas) to go the speed drivers' demand. Regularly pumped tires can save a driver hundreds of dollars a year on gas! Similarly, be sure to inspect tire treads to make sure they're not below the required levels either. Remember that tires wear unevenly; checking one tire is not a good indication of them all.

4. Avoid sun damage
Just how sitting outside for long hours in the sun without sunscreen can increase signs of aging on the skin, cars also suffer damage if they're left in the sun too long, too regularly. Both the exterior and dashboard of a car are exposed to sun all day long. Regularly cleaning and waxing a car and adding a UV protectant to the dashboard not only make it feel like new-it also extends the life of your car's exterior and furnishings.

5. Know warning signs
Grinding coming from the wheels most likely means brakes are completely worn. Because they could fail, avoid driving and take the car to a professional immediately. If the grinding is not being caused by worn brakes, the problem may be with the wheel bearings. A grinding noise while steering may indicate there's something wrong with the tie rods or other parts of the steering system. Anything dealing with steering is serious, so stop driving the car and get it to a mechanic.

For more information and tips, visit the authors' website or the Seal Press website.

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About Seal Press
Seal Press was founded in 1976 to provide a forum for women writers and feminist issues. Since then, Seal has published groundbreaking books that represent the diverse voices and interests of women-their lives, literature, and concerns. Seal's authors are radical and original thinkers, professionals with a distinct point of view, gutsy explorers, truth-tellers, and writers who engender laughter, tears, and rage. Seal Press publishes books with the goal of informing women's lives. Based in Berkeley, Calif., Seal is a member of the Perseus Books Group.