The spring season is just right around the corner and now is the perfect time to have your car cleaned, tuned up, and ready for heavy use the spring and summer. If you are not accustomed to living in areas in which freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall are the norms, then you may not know the damage that those factors may have on your car.
1) Salt Removal:
The salt that is used to melt away ice and snow can cause serious damage to your car. The areas that are affected by the salted roads is the undercarriage of your vehicle which can rust due to the salt. Take your vehicle to a car wash that provides a thorough undercarriage wash to eliminate the leftover salt.
2) Alignment & Suspension:
Potholes can cause damage to your vehicles alignment and suspension. If you notice that your car is leaning towards one side or if the steering wheel is constantly shaking, then you may have an issue with the car’s alignment.
3) Change Oil and Check Fluids:
Spring is an ideal time to flush out your transmission fluid. We recommend that you change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Also, check your windshield wiper fluid, brake, and cooling fluid too.
4) Rotate Tires:
Check the tire pressure of your vehicle including the spare tire. The tires play a major role in your car’s ride handling, road traction, and safety. We recommend that you should rotate your tires every 5,000 miles to keep tread wear even.
5) Inspect Breaks:
Have a technician inspect your brake pads and rotors to ensure that there are no safety issues.
There is only a few months left in the winter season which means that drivers only have to deal with the snow and icy road conditions for a little while longer. Recently, we have seen below zero temperatures in the northeast region, which can cause serious issues to your vehicle. Keeping up vehicle’s maintenance year-round is important to make sure that your car is running properly during the worse times of the season.
During the winter season, the conditions of your vehicles’ tires become even more important. Tire pressure should be checked monthly. Cold weather temperatures can lower your car’s tire pressure. Also, inspect the tread of your tires for depth to protect you from wet driving conditions and snow traction. Here are 7 additional driving safety tips to keep in mind when driving this winter.
1) Brush off Excess Snow: Before driving in your vehicle after the snowfall, take the time to brush off any excess snow from your car. Pay extra attention to the roof of the car and scrape off as much snow as possible.
2) Avoid Wheel Spin: Accelerating too fast from a standstill driving position can cause wheel spin. Accelerate at a lower gear to reduce the potential of wheel spin.
3) Drive slower: Wheels lose their grip more easily in slippery conditions. Keeping driving speed down will allow the driver to react to slippage and possible collisions.
4) Increased Brake Distance: Braking can become a serious issue due to slippery road conditions. Increase the brake distance between your car and the vehicle ahead of you to prevent a collision. Also, use less pressure on the brake pressure.
5) Avoid locking your wheels: Having your wheels locked can increase the risk of your car sliding or skidding. Most modern cars have an Antilock braking System (ABS), but if your vehicle is older and does not have an ABS system, gently stepping on the brake pedal in a pulsing motion can prevent your brake from locking.
6) No Sudden Actions: Sudden driving maneuvers such as hard braking or quick turns can interrupt the dynamics of the car when in motion. Slowly transfer the weight of the car when making sharp turns or braking.
7) Four Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive: The benefits of having four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive will allow you vehicle to have extra traction when accelerating, but they do not give you any advantage when braking or taking a corner.
Choosing a reliable auto body shop can be difficult and knowing where to start can be much harder. It is not uncommon to have different estimates for your car repair when you compare auto body shops. Some estimates may be anywhere from a few hundreds of dollars to a few thousands of dollars depending on where you are inquiring about their service. But it is also true that you get what you pay for, and when is it ok to choose the cheaper shop when they are offering the same service.
1) Ask Your Friends: Many auto body shops will have various advertisements vying for your attention, but we recommend that you ask your friends, family or people that you may know who’ve had work done on their car. Recommendations from people you know who are happy with their service are the safest option.
2) Consider Hourly Rate: The price that is quoted will have much to do with what the shop or garage is charging per hour. The hourly rate of different shops will depend on how much their overhead costs and how many people work at the location. If the auto body shop that you go to is located in an expensive neighborhood where rent is relatively high, then most likely the cost of the service per hour will reflect that amount.
3) Get Estimates: Taking your car to several auto body shops to compare prices is the best way to avoid being overcharged. Although taking the lowest quote can also work against you, there will always be an auto body shop claiming that they can do the same work for less. Keep in mind that you are getting what you pay for.
4) Ask Questions: Asking the right questions, in the beginning, can save you both time and money. Some auto body shops provide a warranty on their work. Ask all of your questions ahead of time and know exactly what you are getting from out of your service. Also, ask what type of materials are being used on your car.
5) Trust Yourself: If you have a bad feeling about an auto body shop because they keep their shop dirty or if they seem like they are not conducting a lot of business, you may want to consider another shop or garage. Trust yourself to know what will work and what won’t work.
If living in an area in which a snowy winter climate is normal, then you must be fully aware of how dangerous it can be driving in winter weather conditions. Driving in snow can be hazardous and the last thing you need is for your car to break down while it is snowing. The best way to prepare your car for the winter months is by having an inspection before winter begins. Be fully aware of the condition your car is in and if your car needs repairs. Here are steps that be taken to ensure that your car is fully equipped to face any winter conditions.
Get your car ready for the winter by first getting a tune-up. Make sure that your car is in proper working order for the winter. Cold weather has a tendency to magnify any existing car issues. Remediate any issue now before they become a major issue.
Have the battery checked before the winter season, driving in the snow can take a toll on the battery.
Make sure that your antifreeze is filled in the cooling system. The antifreeze should be filled every two years.
• Heating System
The heating system and wiper blades should be working properly. Wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months, but choosing winter specific wiper blades will work best.
The tire treads should be checked to ensure that the tires are ready for the winter season. Also, continue to check tire pressure weekly.
• Check Breaks
The breaks must be checked before the winter season. The breaks are vital to ensure that your car will be safe when driving in the snow.
• Exhaust Systems
Have your exhaust systems checked, Carbon Monoxide is a real threat during the winter while your windows are closed while driving.
Make sure that all lights, both interior, and exterior are working properly. Also, have your headlamps checked so they are pointed in the right direction.
• Oil/ Filter
Dirty oil and filters can lead to bigger issues in the winter. Ask your local technician about winter weighted oil and check fuel, transition and air filters at the same time.
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