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A Publication of Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales & Service
Vol.6 No.2.........Spring 2000

Mercedes New Car Smell Meister.   
Ten Steps To A Healthy Heart.    
School Bus Seat Belt Debate.  

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Our Phone Number Is 508-999-3213 

    Mercedes New Car Smell Meister. 
It takes a lot of people and robots to make a Mercedes-Benz and it also takes a good nose. Mercedes-Benz assembly plant employee; Claudia Meister has two important duties: Sniff every material before Mercedes decides to install it in a car and sniff out the cause when a customer has an odor complaint. 

Several years ago the E-class Mercedes developed a foul odor right off the assembly line. Ms. Meister sat in the car and turned up her nose. "It's in the door" she said. Technicians took the door apart. She sniffed each piece until she got to a special material used as sound insulation inside the door. She thought the insulation had the odor of organic matter. She was correct.  Mercedes uses recycled materials whenever possible during the design and production of their cars.  The insulation was made of used jute sacks. After a lab analysis under a microscope, a brown dust was found mixed between the fibers. The dust was actually tea. After a search of the suppliers warehouse in Berlin, the cause was found. The jute sacks were used at one time to transport tea leaves. If the tea dust gets wet it starts to ferment causing the foul odor. The assembly line quickly switched to another product. 

Just recently, a handful of Mercedes sport utility owners were complaining that their vehicles smelled like "a cow barn" when the air conditioning was turned on. After disassembling the in-cabin portion of the air conditioning system, Ms. Meister was brought in to sniff every piece. The culprit was a thin layer of black foam on one of the air conditioner evaporator baffles. This particular "odor with A/C on" problem we have been addressing for the past ten years on all makes and models of cars. If you ever encounter that situation, we have special chemicals that we can treat the evaporator foam with. The foam gets wet from rain water and develops a moss type growth that emits the odor. 
We have a procedure where we can treat the evaporator without the high cost of removing the dash panel. 

 Ten Steps To A Healthy Heart.  

(From The National Heart Council) 

1. Don't Smoke.  There's no question that smokers suffer more heart disease than people who don't smoke. Smoking increases the risk of heart attacks and makes them more severe when they occur. So if you smoke, quit. Many programs and medicines are available to help you do it. If you live with a smoker, encourage them to quit. Let them know that smoking is bad for both of you. 

2. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise helps your heart stay healthy. Just like any other muscle in your body, your heart needs exercise to keep in shape. Your exercise goals can be modest, gardening, running the vacuum cleaner, walking and you will see heart-healthy benefits. So get moving. 

3. Watch what you eat. Anything that you eat has an impact on your body's health. It's important to choose a diet that includes lots of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. 

4. Limit your fat intake. You should try to limit fat consumption to no more than 30% of your calories per day. For most people, that means between 50 and 70 grams of fat per day. With the new nutrition labels on foods, it is fairly easy to make sure you stay below that limit. New research also tells us to especially avoid fats that are "hydrogenated", because these are particularly bad for our hearts. Read the labels of foods before you buy them to avoid these fats when possible. 

5. Watch your weight. People who are overweight, even just a little bit, are at increased risk of heart disease. Try not to let your weight creep up, which it tends to do as we get older. You may need to make some dietary or exercise adjustments to maintain your weight at a desirable level. 

6. See your physician regularly.  Regular examinations help insure that problems will be recognized before they become severe. 

7. Know your family history. It's important to know if anyone in your family has suffered a heart attack, and how old they were when it occurred. Sometimes this indicates that you are at increased risk of heart disease and may need a very thorough evaluation. 

8. Know your medications.  Keep accurate records of the medications you take and take them as they are prescribed. Your pharmacist can help you with this. Especially with heart medicines, it's important to know what other medicine someone may be taking, and never stop taking the medicine without the advice of your doctor. 


 School Bus Seat Belt Debate.

This year, more than 23 million school children will climb aboard a school bus. Although the buses are a very safe form of motorized transportation, several hundred children are injured, (35 are killed), in school bus accidents annually. Currently there is no federal mandate requiring seat belts for full-size school buses. Only New Jersey and New York require lap belts on newly purchased full size buses. 

School-transportation and the National Highway and Transportation  Safety Administration, (NHTSA), officials argue that, if worn incorrectly, one-piece lap belts can cause abdominal or neck injuries in certain crashes. It has also been suggested that younger, less dexterous children might not be able to free themselves in an emergency. They also feel that belts are not necessary because all the buses are required by law to have seats that are tall, closely spaced, padded, and slightly flexible in order to absorb crash forces and cushion riders. 

Belt advocates counter that while the current seat design may help protect kids in a frontal crash that jerks them to the seat directly in front of them, it's of little use if the bus is hit from the side or rolls over. 

It appears that the school bus seatbelt debate will may go on for some time. 


We appreciate your business.
Please drive carefully.
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Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales, Inc.
1476 Purchase Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone: (508) 999-3213
FAX: (508) 999-1343
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