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Car Care Tips 2017-05-20T19:13:25+00:00

Care Care Tips

Wash your car in the winter

If you rarely wash your car during messy winter weather, you are not alone. The cars you see on the road make it obvious that lots of folks figure,”Why bother? The car is going to look awful the next time I drive it.” The problem with this thinking is that washing is more important in the winter than other times of the year. All that sand, slush, and ice mixed with road salt is exactly what makes your car rust.The fastest corrosion occurs when the temperature repeatedly rises above and then falls below freezing. Especially during the messy months, be sure to rinse the undercarriage and hard-to-reach areas that are susceptible to rust, such as the bumpers and inside the wheel wells. If the temperature outside is going to stay above freezing long enough for your car and driveway to dry, fill a bucket with warm water and tackle the job at home. If not, pay a visit to your local car wash and be sure they dry the car thoroughly.

Fix small windshield chips

Got a rock chip, crack, or ding in your windshield? Bring your car to a windshield repair shop. For far less cost than replacing the windshield, they can fix chips and cracks, even quite long ones. The repairs not only keep the chips and cracks from spreading and restore structural integrity, they also improve clarity.

Maintain proper inflation

Under-inflated tires are a tire salesman’s best friend. They create excessive heat and stress that can lead to tire failure. If you want to get every last mile out of your tires, get yourself a tire pressure gauge and use it at least once a month (more in hot weather) to keep your tires inflated to the recommendation in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Check tires when they are cold (driven for less than one mile) for an accurate reading.

Dilute your coolant

Your cooling system needs both coolant-antifreeze and water, so don’t pour undiluted coolant into your cooling system. Dilute it with water to the commonly recommended 50-50 ratio. Similarly, don’t use straight water in your system either.The coolant protects against corrosion and freezing.The water ensures good heat transfer from the coolant to the radiator.

Check power-steering fluid

Check the power-steering fluid once a month with the car warmed up. If the level is low, have the hoses and pump inspected for leaks. In addition to making your car difficult to steer, low power-steering fluid will damage the power-steering pump. Be sure to use the powersteering fluid recommended for you car.

Let floor mats take winter's beating

Use floor mats to protect carpeting. The best type for controlling salt, slush, and mud in winter are rubber wafflestyle mats. They stay in place, don’t allow the water to seep through, and are easy to wash clean. Carpet-style mats are helpful, too. Shake, vacuum, or wash as needed; replace them as they wear through.

Fill with washer fluid only

Don’t add water to the windshield washer reservoir. It won’t clean as well as washer fluid, and it may freeze in cold weather and damage the system. Don’t try to run your windshield washer system once you suspect there’s no more fluid in the tank, or you may damage the washer fluid pump.

Change oil frequently

Your dad knew that frequent oil changes were key to keeping his Buick on the road another year. And while owner’s manuals for today’s cars recommend increasing long intervals between oil changes, the fact remains – frequent changes flush abrasive dirt and metal particles out of the engine, prolonging its life. Most owner’s manuals recommend a more frequent interval for “severe conditions.” To maximize the life of your engine, follow the severe intervals recommendations, especially if drive regularly in stop-and-go traffic.

Rotate your tires

Rotating your tires helps to distribute tire wear evenly and ensures that you’ll get the maximum road life out of them. The first rotation is especially important.Your owner’s manual should specify both rotation period and pattern. If not, rotate your tires every 6,000 to 7,500 miles – your tire dealer should know the correct pattern of tire rotation.

Don't mix coolants

Avoid mixing coolants that are different in color. If your coolant is pink, don’t add a green formulation to it. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a thick solution that won’t do its job. Use only the coolant specified in your owner’s manual.