Summer's Here -- Is Your Car Ready?
The kids are out of school, the temperatures are on the rise, and it's time to start planning some family road trips. You can save yourself some real headaches by making sure your car's up to the task:
-- Tires: Make sure your tires are properly inflated...underinflated tires cost you in terms of fuel economy, wear and possible failure. Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles for even wear. Check your tires carefully for tread depth, dry rot or cracking and overall condition.
-- A/C: A weak A/C system is more prone to fail altogether in hot weather. Today's air conditioners are more robust than cars of a generation ago, but they can still lose refrigerant in the off months. Low refrigerant puts the whole system at risk, as it's also a lubricant for the compressor, and a failing compressor can send shards and fragments of metal through the system's other components.
-- Oil: Your engine relies on clean motor oil for protection even more in hot weather. Make sure you've got a fresh oil change before taking off, regardless of whether you prefer conventional, synthetic-blend or full-synthetic oil.
-- Battery: Extremes of weather, whether it's very hot or very cold, can put a lot of stress on your battery. Make suer your battery's good to go with some routine maintenance. Clean the terminals thoroughly to eliminate any buildup of corrosion (usually a fluffy white deposit), apply an anti-corrosion grease and ensure the clamps are tightened down securely. Check the drive belt for the alternator as well, looking specifically for looseness, fraying, cracking or other signs of wear.
-- Wipers: You may not think about your wipers very often...until the rain starts pouring down. Even the best wipers are only good for about a year before the sun's UV rays and normal wear take their toll. Check your wiper blades; if any cracking, dry rot, chipping or stripping is present, change them and make sure you've got a good supply of windshield washer fluid as well.
-- Engine performance: Make sure you've got a clean air filter before hitting the road...a dirty air filter can restrict air flow to the point of hurting fuel economy. If your Check Engine light is illuminated, have our technicians hook up a diagnostic scanner to find any trouble codes in the engine computer.
-- Cooling system: Your car's antifreeze solution does more than protect against freezeups in winter; it also prevents boilovers and overheating in summer. Most antifreeze solutions (actually a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water) should be changed every 25-30,000 miles to protect against scale and corrosion and ensure top performance for your cooling system. It's an easy job to test the coolant's condition, and flush/change if necessary.
Why take chances this summer and head out for a road trip in a car that's not ready for the miles ahead? Make an appointment with us at Don Owen Tire before you load up the kids, gas up the tank and go!