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Don't Get Too Heated! Summer Car Care Tips

Published May 15th 2007, 5:10am by

Jenny_trotsel_small by Jenny Trostel
This is an important time of year to keep your car clean and to have routine maintenance done.  Summer is a very busy time for everyone and a busy time for your car.   Excessive heat can be a drain on many of the components of your car.  If you are planning a vacation where you will be driving your car, don’t wait until the last minute to have your service facility check the car for your trip.  Summer is the busiest time for repair facilities as well and the heat that takes a toll on your car, can also take a toll on the technicians that work on your car.  Remember, proper car care and maintenance can prevent a breakdown.

Wkw057w Summer Car Care tips:
1.    If you have not visited your service facility in the last six months, it is time for a visit.  Ask for a safety check .  A well maintained car also gets better gas mileage.
2.    Have the oil changed.  Regular oil changes can double the life of your car.
3.    Check your tires.  Summer heat can affect the performance of your tires.  Ask your service facility to let you know how much tread life you have left on the tires.  An extremely worn tire can make stopping difficult.  Check the tire pressures so that you get the best wear for your tires and better gas mileage.
4.    Don’t run the needle down to empty.  You put yourself in a risky situation that you may run out of gas while driving.  Imagine getting stuck on the beltway, because you run out of gas. You could do additional damage to the fuel system which could be very costly.
5.    Don’t wait to have that noise checked.  You drive the car everyday, if you hear a strange noise, get it checked.  Small problems can turn into really big expensive problems quickly.
6.    Come to a complete stop.  When you are backing out of a parking spot and put your car in drive while it is still rolling, you are doing damage to the transmission.  Make sure the car is stopped before changing gears.

7.    Have your air conditioning system checked. A marginally operating air conditioning system is likely to fail during hot summer months.
8.    A dirty, streaky or smeared windshield can be a hazard.  Replace worn wiper blades and replenish windshield washer solvent.
9.    April showers bring May flowers, but what do May flowers bring: Pollen! The pollen that is covering your car is also being circulated through your vents.  Have the air filter and all other filters check or replaced.
10.    The greatest number of breakdowns occur during summer travel is due to overheating.  Check the level and condition of your coolant. Remember, never remove the radiator cap until the engine is thoroughly cooled.

Last but not least, give your car a good cleaning.  Clean out all the trash on the floor and in the pockets, vacuum the interior and then wash it.  It just feels so good driving around in a clean car, doesn't it? And have a great summer!

Jenny Trostel, is the President and Owner of Saab of Baltimore, an Ask Patty Female Friendly dealership.  She is also a member of the Expert Panel of Women for AskPatty.com

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