Road Safety

Ralph Kirberg is a 39-year veteran of the automotive industry and president of Kirberg Motors, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2009. He can be reached at (650) 469-3987 or by email.

Understanding Dashboard Warning Lights

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

BELMONT — There are a lot of warning lights on a vehicle’s dashboard, all of which help ensure safety on the road. While some are self-explanatory, others aren’t as obvious, so it’s important for drivers to acquaint themselves with the various warning lights and their functions. Here are some important ones to know:

Battery warning light
This light is in the shape of a car battery and usually indicates a problem with the alternator. Since the alternator recharges the battery, it’s important to directly address any issues because its failure can render your vehicle inoperable. If the battery light comes on and stays on while you’re driving, the most common cause is a broken alternator belt. Read more

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Video: At-Home Auto Care

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

CAMPBELL — Host, Sarah Rutan: Two important parts of caring for your vehicle include tire pressure and air filters. Today, we’re in Campbell with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Bill Faulconer of Renson Automotive to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Bill Faulconer: Here’s a couple simple tips you can do at home very easily. First of all is tire pressure. Tire pressure is set by the manufacturer, a lot of them right around 32 psi, and that is the minimum strictly for comfort and what they feel is for safety. But by raising that pressure just slightly, you can get better fuel economy. And a simple way to do that is with a tire pressure gauge. Read more

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Do-It-Yourself Vehicle Maintenance

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

CAMPBELL — Many aspects of auto maintenance are best left to a professional, but there are some things you can easily do yourself. Here are two do-it-yourself measures you can take to improve your driving experience:

Tire pressure maintenance
While regulating tire pressure is important for safety, performance and tire longevity, many drivers don’t know that it can also affect fuel economy. While vehicle manufacturers set recommended tire pressure at a minimum specification, raising the pressure slightly above this number can actually improve your car’s gas mileage.

To maintain the air pressure in your tires, you’ll need a tire pressure gauge. Pocket gauges are simple and inexpensive, but a digital gauge offers improved reading accuracy. Read more

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Video: Child Car Seat Safety

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

LIVERMORE — Host, Sarah Rutan: If your child is in a carseat, you’ll want to make sure it is properly installed. Today, we’re in Livermore with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Cynthia Tinkham of Olsen’s Automotive Repair to learn how to ensure car seat safety.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Cynthia Tinkham: Over the years, I have seen many cars come in with improperly installed infant and child car seats. An improperly installed child car seat will have too much movement either up or down or side to side. They should not be able to move like this. A child that is restrained in their car seat, even if they are in there properly, Read more

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Video: Car Tips for Staying Safe on the Road

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

LIVERMORE — Host, Sarah Rutan: To ensure safety while on the road, you’ll need to know how to properly maintain your vehicle. Today we’re in Livermore with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Kenneth Waitley of Olsen’s Automotive Repair to learn a few tips for vehicle upkeep.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor. Lyde Waitley:  There are many things that the consumer can check on their own on their vehicles on a regular basis to ensure safe driving through the seasons ahead.

This is an example of a badly weathered headlight lens. When the lenses get like this, the UV coating breaks down, and it has a significantly adverse effect upon nighttime visibility. Read more

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The Importance of Proper Car Seat Installation

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

LIVERMORE — A common thing seen by auto technicians is infant and child car seats that have been installed incorrectly. While some drivers might assume a cursory installation is good enough, the reality is that even a child who is completely restrained can be injured in a collision if the car seat is improperly installed.

In many cases, it’s fairly easy to tell if a car seat isn’t installed correctly. The most obvious sign is if it moves a lot, either up and down or side to side. In contrast, a car seat that’s properly installed will be almost completely stationary. To assess the quality of a car seat installation, simply jostle the seat a bit—if it moves around a lot, Read more

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How to Tell if You Need New Brakes

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

SUNNYVALE — Brakes are one of the most important components of any vehicle, which is why it’s vital to proactively maintain them. A crucial part of brake maintenance is being able to tell when they need to be replaced altogether.

To take the guesswork out of brake replacement, some modern cars are equipped with brake pad wear sensors. Mounted on the brake pad and routed through the caliper, this sensor warns drivers if the pad is becoming excessively worn and needs to be replaced, usually by triggering a warning light on the vehicle’s dash. However, not all vehicles are equipped with such warning devices, which is why you should have your brakes inspected on a routine basis. Read more

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