Windshield Wipers Were Invented by a Woman

Next time you’re driving in a rainstorm, you can thank Mary Anderson, who invented windshield wipers in 1903. Anderson received a patent for the windshield wiper, but she couldn’t sell the invention to the auto companies, who claimed that the device did not have commercial value. After Anderson’s patent ran out in 1920, windshield wipers eventually became a standard feature on automobiles. Today, changing windshield wipers is an important part of automotive maintenance. Wiper blades come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and some are even heated to help keep your windshield clean in icy conditions.

Think you can get away with just changing your oil?

Think again! Your car uses six different fluids: Motor oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid & windshield washer fluid. It’s important to replenish and change these fluids according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Some newer cars have very specific fluid types and methods of checking and changing these fluids and getting it wrong can be very costly.

Time for a Tune Up

The term ‘tune-up’ was coined when Henry Ford was working on his first automobile prototype. This first ignition system was very simple; one ignition coil for one spark plug, so four spark plugs would require four ignition coils. These coils needed to be adjusted to provide the same spark intensity for better idle and acceleration. As these coils worked, they made a buzzing sound. When all the coils were adjusted properly, they all buzzed at the same level – they were “in tune”. Todays “tune up” is a far more complicated beast and should be left to the professionals.

Fill ‘er up

Running your car down to empty shortens the life of the fuel pump and should be avoided.

Buckle Up

Sweden’s Volvo made the three-point seatbelt design patent open and available to other car manufacturers for free, in the interest of safety. It saves one life every 6 minutes.