AUTOMOTIVE TIPS-CAR CARE TIPS FOR LONGER CAR LIFE, BETTER GAS MILEAGE & PEACE OF MIND!
- Check your oil at every fill up and change your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles. No oil or thinned oil can cause engine failure (rebuilds or engine swaps are expensive!).
- Rotate your tires every other oil change and keep them properly inflated. This will help insure a smooth ride, your tires will last longer and it will help your gas mileage!
- Your fuel filter is the #1 forgotten maintenance item. Replace it as the maintenance schedule for your vehicle dictates!
- Air filters become clogged! Keep an eye on yours!
- Keep your battery cables clean and tight! Corroded/loose cables can cause your vehicle not to start and/or other electrical problems.
- Check your coolant level. Low coolant can cause overheating (blowing important gaskets) and can also cause your heater not to work properly. NEVER OPEN A HOT RADIATOR!!
- Timing/Serpentine belts-have them checked on a regular basis! A replacement can avoid breakage. If your timing belt brakes, it can lock up your engine and possibly bend valves, causing engine failure.
- Check under your vehicle periodically. Any fluid leaking onto the ground can be the first sign of trouble. See your mechanic for a diagnosis quickly! Fluids are the lifeblood of your vehicle!
Winter Driving Tips
For those who experience a winter season, this time of year can be beautiful. But while a snow-covered landscape makes for some terrific photo opportunities, it can be one of the most treacherous times of year for drivers.
Ice, snow, sleet and wind are just some of the weather variables present throughout the winter – leaving many drivers unsure of how to navigate wintry roads. To stay safe, it’s important to heed some winter-driving tips.
Slow down. This is one of the most important pieces of advice you can get. Keep in mind that the speed limits posted are advisories for dry road conditions, and you should knock off a couple MPH when on treacherous roads, or when visibility is impaired.
Know road conditions. Keep abreast of the weather by tuning into weather reports. Also, some areas post advisories on digital signs along the roadway, often telling drivers to tune into a specific AM radio station for more information. Knowing what you’re up against on the roads can help you make safer decisions when venturing out.
Leave room; look ahead. Reaction time and stopping ability can be inhibited by slippery roadways. Therefore, always keep an eye on what’s going on ahead of you, being especially cautious for tow trucks and snow plows. Also, maintain a greater space cushion between your car and those in front of you. Should someone lose control or stop suddenly ahead, you will have more time to adjust to the situation. Remember that trucks have an even longer reaction time, so don’t cut off any.
Allow extra time. If you’re feeling rushed to make it to an appointment or work, you may inadvertently speed up and risk an accident. Leave plenty of time to go to and from your destinations.
Maintain visibility. Clear snow and ice from your windshield, windows and from the head and taillights. You want to ensure you can see fairly well and can easily be seen by other motorists. Be sure that wipers are in good working condition so they can clean snow and melting precipitation from the windshield. Remember to shut the wipers off before turning off the vehicle. If not, your wipers could freeze to the windshield and you’ll burn out the wiper motor when the blades try to return to the rest position the next time you start your car.
Get an auto checkup. Key areas to check include: coolant levels; washer and transmission fluids; battery; keep a full gas tank; and carry a phone and emergency supplies.
Take a Practice Run
Test your car’s handling in snow. Find an empty, snow-covered parking lot. Skid intentionally by slamming on the brakes, and practice regaining control of the vehicle.
If you are skidding, keep your foot off the brake and steer until you regain control. Once you’ve recovered from the skid, gently apply the brakes. If you are behind someone in a skid, drive straight and slow down. Don’t attempt to pass the vehicle.
If you’re in a spin out, apply the brakes hard and hold them to slow down the car. If you get stuck in snow, straighten the wheels and accelerate slowly. This will prevent spinning the tires, which will only put more snow behind your car.