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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Vehicle

You've got your SPF 30 suntan lotion, a giant cooler filled with your favorite snacks, Kindle, and your iPod -- you're ready for a summer road trip. You may be prepared, but has your car had its summer automotive maintenance just yet?  As Wisconsin’s summer quickly approaches, it is important to remember some simple automotive maintenance procedures to ensure you are ready for the road.

GET A RADIATOR FLUSH:

The coolant in your radiator doesn't last forever. Over time, the antifreeze in your vehicle may become acidic and lose its ability to help protect the engine from extreme temperatures. Occasionally flushing the radiator will help keep it clean and prevent buildup of dirt and sediment. Fresh antifreeze will also help protect your car engine from extreme cold or hot temperatures. There are several different factors that are to be considered before you decide the frequency at which you are going to flush the coolant. Some noticeable ones are as follows: size of the engine, total number of miles that are completed, climate (antifreeze concerns), age of the current coolant, type of coolant, and recommendations of manufacturers (of car as well as coolant). It is advisable to check your owner’s manual to make sure you are up-to-date.

REPLACE YOUR AIR FILTER:

Your air filter serves as protector of your engine. Air filters prevent unfiltered air from entering your engine where dust and debris can accumulate. A clogged air filter affects your car's performance in many ways. It robs your car of power and most importantly hurts you gas mileage. It is best to go by your vehicle’s owner manual, however on average, the typical air filter is replaced every 10, 000 miles.

CHECK YOUR TIRES:

Wisconsin weather is anything but predictable. Regardless of the season, checking each tire component is important.  Maintaining proper inflation pressure is crucial for getting the most out of your tires. Air pressure is measured in psi (pounds per square inch) and should be adjusted when the tires are "cold.” Check tread is also important. A tread depth gauge is an inexpensive and effective tool for measuring the amount of tread left on your tires. The tread depth measurement is taken in 32nds of an inch, and should be taken from the tread grooves at three different areas of the tread (inner, center, and outside). If any part of the tread is at or below 2/32" depth, you should replace your tires.

REPLACE YOUR WINDSHIELD WIPERS:

Wisconsin’s winter weather can be brutal to your windshield wipers, making them almost useless if you get caught in a summer rain shower. Replace them at the beginning of the summer and you won't have to worry.

INSPECT YOUR BRAKES:

It's a good idea to inspect your brakes before a road trip. At Heiser, your car safety is our top priority. As a result, we offer complementary brake inspections at all five of our Southeastern Wisconsin locations. 

CHECK YOUR BATTERY:

Corrosion is very likely to build up during winter weather driving. Check your battery posts and cables to ensure you'll have no starting problems. At all five Southeastern Wisconsin Heiser locations, we offer a battery service that we clean the battery terminals for you.

CHECK YOUR HEADLIGHTS:

Sometimes you don't notice that you have a bulb out. Grab a friend and have them help. Have one person sit in the car and test all the lights, while the other person walks around the whole vehicle and checks the lights as they are turned on and off. 

Remember that car safety begins with you and at Heiser we are happy to help. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment please call us at 888-307-4422.

We hope you have a happy and safe summer.

Take Care,

Mary Ann Scaffidi

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