Spring is Here! Is Your Car Ready?
So it was a long, tough winter...but now it's behind us. Chances are your car could use a little TLC before the temperatures start to rise, so here's a quick rundown of suggestions:
- Wash and Wax: Your vehicle should be waxed about once a quarter, to protect the finish against oxidation from the sun's rays, road grit and other factors that can wear down the paint and give surface rust a foothold. Start with a good-quality car wash (not detergent, which will just strip any wax you already have) and follow up with a couple of coats of paste or liquid wax. Then, stand back and admire a great-looking car!
- Oil Change: You've heard this one before, but your oil and filter should be changed every 5,000 miles for conventional oil, or 10-12,000 miles for synthetic oil. Clean motor oil means reduced wear and less chance of sludge buildup, which can accelerate wear and shorten engine life.
- Tire Rotation: No car has 50/50 weight distribution from front to rear, and front tires are subjected to a whole different set of forces from cornering and braking. That's why tire positions need to be switched at regular intervals, helping to even out wear patterns (plus, it's required for warranty coverage). Rotations should be done every 5,000 miles -- if your car's already in for an oil change and up on a lube rack, why not just have the rotation done too?
- Cooling System Service: Your coolant is a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water, and contains anti-corrosion agents to help head off the buildup of scale in your water pump, heater core, and radiator. Coolant is designed to be flushed at regular intervals, to eliminate any corrosion that may have accumulated and to improve your cooling system's overall health. Coolant flushes should be performed at a 35-50,000 mile interval, according to manufacturer's specs. Remember, antifreeze doesn't just lower the coolant's freezing point -- it also raises the boilover point to protect your engine against overheating.
- A/C Service: Even a late-model car can lose five percent of its A/C refrigerant over a year's time. Nobody likes riding around in a stuffy car; we can recharge your A/C system with a refrigerant that includes an oil for the compressor and fluorescent dye that makes leaks easy to spot.
- Transmission Service: Just like your engine needs motor oil to cool and lubricate, your transmission needs automatic transmission fluid (ATF) to protect against wear and to help transfer torque through the unit. Heat and time will degrade the fluid, however, and cause varnish-like deposits to build up on important internal parts. Transmission fluid should be cherry colored and have a slightly sharp smell to it. Fluid that's darker or has a burnt-toast odor should be changed soon to prevent transmission damage.
We hope you get out and enjoy this beautiful spring weather...and that your car's up to the task. Make an appointment with us at New England Tire and let us make sure about that!
|Spring is Here! Is Your Car Ready? was written by Parker Ashton of New England Tire|