Niagara Gazette

Columns

April 24, 2014

TOM'S CORNER: Spring tune up and summer prep for your car

Niagara Gazette — It’s time to get the family car, truck, van, or SUV in for the annual spring tune up and summer prep. April is hear and its National Car Care Month, proper vehicle care will ensure that you are ready for the summer travel season. A recent survey shows that proper car maintenance is still a timely message to communicate to consumers. Did you know that, according to a recent survey from the Travel Industry Association of America, 33 percent of people who traveled last year say they are changing their leisure travel plans this year due to the weakened economy?

This statistic will probably translate into more Americans traveling by car this summer to save money (while looking for ways to save on vehicle ‘wear and tear’). I can’t think of a better way to save on ‘wear and tear’ than preventative measures … vehicle maintenance is the key!

The Car Care Council reports that nine out of 10 vehicles need some kind of maintenance done right now! According to the data collected over previous National Car Care Months, the most common problems are low or dirty engine oil, improper tire pressure, inadequate cooling system protection, worn belts, dirty oil filters, and low or contaminated brake fluid. All these problems can easily be avoided! My experience supports this statistic. I receive over 200 questions each week from people with car problems, most of which could have been prevented with basic preventive maintenance practices. Don’t be ‘penny wise and pound foolish.’ The time to spend a little money is BEFORE you have a problem! Below are a few basic spring/summer maintenance suggestions for vehicle durability and longevity (translation … money in your pocket).

Good starting points for a thorough spring “once-over” of the family car:

• Temperature changes affect tire pressures, and with spring and summer comes warmer days, so check the pressure and inflate to the recommended pressure for your automobile. Keep a tire gauge in your car and test for proper pressure at least once a month.

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