April is National Car Care Month

Starburst2The Car Care Council reminds motorists to implement 10 maintenance procedures to make sure vehicles run at peak performance for summer driving season. We’ve added a bonus reminder that will help extend the life of a car. Also, when a car coming out of winter experiences hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc. it must be corrected before hot weather sets in for the health of the car.

  1. Check all Fluids.Engine oil, power steering fluid, brake and transmission fluid, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner’s manual. Replace other filters (air, fuel, cabin filter, etc.) as recommended.
  1. Check the Hoses and Belts.Verify if cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear. An ASE certified mechanic should check the tightness and condition of the hoses, belts and belt tensioner assembly.
  1. Check the Battery.Verify cable and post connections are clean, tight and corrosion-free. Validate battery is holding a charge. Replace if necessary. Most high quality batteries have a use life of 5 years.
  1. Check the Brake System. Inspect brake linings, rotors and drums (Inspect quarterly or 15,000-20,000 miles). If any symptoms of pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance are observed, the brakes should be checked by an ASE certified mechanic that can ensure vehicle safety with corrective measures.
  1. Inspect the Exhaust System. Check for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if unusually noisy, and inspect the exhaust heat shields.
  1. Schedule aTune-Up.Tune for balance of power, fuel economy and reduced emissions.
  1. Check the (HVAC) System.Verify heating and cooling performance. Flush and refill the radiator according to the owner’s manual recommendation. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked a couple times during the hot driving season. To avoid costly repairs, a marginally operating air conditioner system should be serviced by an ASE qualified technician, as it will most likely fail in hot weather. Also, newer cars have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system and will need to be checked.
  1. Inspect the steering and suspension system.Inspect shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
  1. Check the tires.Check safety issues including pressure (when tires are cold), bulges, treads, and dry rot. Don’t forget to check the spare. Also, rotate the tires to avoid uneven wear and check wheel alignment.
  1. Check the wipers and lighting. Check interior and exterior lighting. Replace all burnt out bulbs. Clean off all headlight lenses with a wet rag to avoid scratches. Replace winter worn wiper blades with new ones to combat summer dust. Also keep plenty of washer solvent on hand to clean bugs off of the windshield. The life expectancy of wiper blades is 6-8 months, but can vary depending on seasonal extremes.
  1. Bonus Reminder: Reread the owner’s manual and double check its recommended service schedule. The activities listed are tested and scheduled to extend the longevity of the car—follow it religiously.

Hi-Tech Addison Auto Repair offers a complete inspection of the above for $49.98 (an $89.95 value) during the month of April. The inspection includes an oil change using up to 6 quarts of 5W30 Shell synthetic blend oil and oil filter (a $39.95 value).

About CJ Powers

CJ is an author and speaker.
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