Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /> Seasonal Car Care | Vehicle Maintenance | Jamestown Meineke












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Car Care Tips

For Summer:

Get your power-steering system checked.  Your power-steering fluid should be clean. Dirty or low fluid can make steering difficult.  For maximum control and safety, power-steering maintenance should be a top-priority.

Evaluate your "pick-up". Before you pick up and go, consider your acceleration.  Is it smooth, or does it strain as you pass another vehicle?  If you find your vehicle straining, it may be time to consider a fuel system service.

Get your oil changed.  The standard recommendation of every 3-6 months or 3000 miles still applies.  Most of us take frequent short trips, drive in stop-and-go traffic and drive in dusty conditions.  Changing the oil as recommended offers your vehicle the maximum protection.

Have a full vehicle safety inspection.  Before you take your vehicle on vacation, make sure it's in good working order.  Breakdowns are stressful enough without having to locate a mechanic in a strange city. Your local Meineke will be happy to perform a 23-point safety inspection of your vehicle with every oil change.  Our technicians will look over your car and advise you of any immediate needs.  If you visit us regularly, our technicians will be able to evaluate your car on a regular basis so you can plan maintenance and repairs before a minor problem becomes something major.

For Fall:

Replace your wiper blades.  Fall and winter is the busiest time of year for your windshield wipers.  Replace existing blades with a new set each fall to prepare for frost, ice, snow, salt, sand and solvents.

Check your spare tire.  You never know when you'll need it. Make sure the tread is acceptable and no dry rot is present.  Check to see that it is inflated to the manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure, found on the side of the tire.  If your tire is mounted beneath your vehicle, check to make sure the mounting mechanisms and cables move smoothly.

Find your jack. Jack locations vary from vehicle to vehicle.  It's great to know where it's located and how to use it before you need it.  If you cannot locate it or do not know how to use it, come see us, and we'll be happy to demonstrate.

Check your air filter.  Most manufacturers recommend replacing this twice a year. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, which in turn can affect your car's gas mileage and emissions.

Do you have a first aid or emergency kit?  Fall is a great time to replace and replenish the bandages, sanitizer and antibacterial ointment in your first aid kit.  You may also want to make sure you have a window scraper, gloves, even a blanket in your car.  You'll be grateful to have it if you need it.

Get a coolant flush.  Recommended every 24 months, this cleaning keeps your engine running cool, and your heater running hot.

Get your oil changed.  The standard recommendation of every 3-6 months or 3000 miles still applies.  Most of us take frequent short trips, drive in stop-and-go traffic and drive in dusty conditions.  Changing the oil as recommended offers your vehicle the maximum protection.


For Winter:

Check your battery. Make sure the cold-cranking amps are above 500.  A larger vehicle may require a higher cold-cranking amp.  Verify that the battery contacts are clean and no corrosion is present.

Check your antifreeze.  This is an essential part of cold weather protection for your engine.  Make sure the level is full and that the mixture is half anti-freeze and half water.

Check your tires. Cold weather can reduce your tires' air pressure.  It can also make the rubber less pliable, which can cause air leaks.  Check for cracking and damage to the sidewall.

Check your belts and hoses. Just like the rubber in your tires, the belts and hoses can become brittle, cracked and frayed by cold.  These are essential to keeping your engine in good working order.

Check your gas cap. Make sure your gas cap is not cracked, loose or missing.  This can lead to fuel spill or evaporation, and in some cases, can trigger a "Check Engine" light to appear.

Check your defogger/defroster. Having these in peak operating condition will help with visibility in winter driving conditions.

Get your oil changed.  The standard recommendation of every 3-6 months or 3000 miles still applies.  Most of us take frequent short trips, drive in stop-and-go traffic and drive in dusty conditions.  Changing the oil as recommended offers your vehicle the maximum protection.


For Spring:

Clean the exterior.  Sand and salt can damage your car.  Wash it away thoroughly, paying special attention to the undercarriage.  The salt used to melt snow and ice can corrode and eat through the metal under your car.

Clean the interior.  Spring cleaning isn't just for your home.  It's easy to let junk and trash pile up inside your car because it's just too cold to clean out.  Spring is a great time to de-clutter and vacuum your car's interior.  And if you get rid of bulky, heavy items, your gas mileage may improve.

Get an alignment check.  Potholes can affect your alignment and your suspension system.  Get both inspected.  An alignment will help your tires wear evenly, protecting you and your investment.

Check your brakes.  Your brakes probably got a great work out in all the ice and snow.  Get them inspected to make sure that the pads and rotors are in good condition.  Check the brake fluid as well.  A brake fluid flush is recommended yearly, and it's a great way to revitalize your brakes.

Check your air filter.  Most manufacturers recommend replacing this twice a year.  A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, which in turn can affect your car's gas mileage and emissions.

Check your cabin air filter.  Found mostly in newer vehicles, this filter catches airborne dust, pollen and other pollutants that come into your car through the heating and air-conditioning systems. This filter prevents them from entering the passenger area.  Placement of these filters vary by car, but the location and recommended service interval should be located in your owner's manual.

Get your oil changed.  The standard recommendation of every 3-6 months or 3000 miles still applies. Most of us take frequent short trips, drive in stop-and-go traffic and drive in dusty conditions.  Changing the oil as recommended offers your vehicle the maximum protection.

Get your AC system checked. Heat is harmful to people and hard on your vehicle. It's a good idea to make sure the AC is working before it gets too hot. This check should include a full inspection of your lines, hoses, and seals, a pressure test and a temperature test. If a leak is suspected, a leak test may also be performed.  Refrigerant may be added to "top-off" your system.

 


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