Gear up for spring

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Simple ways to care for your car

Family Features

(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)
(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

If you’re like thousands of other car owners who neglected maintenance during the brutal winter months, your vehicle could use a little extra care by now. Setting aside some time will help get your vehicle ready for the spring and summer driving season. You will want to make sure that you look after your car, as you don’t want to have any trouble driving it. You might find that after winter your car needs to have new brakes or something else isn’t working properly. If you don’t check your car over and end up going on the road, then you might cause an accident. An accident which could have been avoided if you’d have taken a little extra care with your car. The shoe could be on the other foot, however, and you may sustain an injury thanks to another driver who is driving an unsafe vehicle on the road; in which case, you could consider contacting a lincoln personal injury attorney to assist you with a potential claim. Don’t forget though that accidents can happen for a whole host of reasons. You might be the safest driver in the world, but you can’t ever know what someone else will be doing whilst driving. This is something that you should be considering if you are planning on taking your car on a long car trip – do you really need to do the driving, or can you get your car shipped out to the location that you need it? You can click here for more information on how to do that and it is definitely something that you should consider, since why risk getting into an accident when you can save on fuel, mileage and a lot more by getting your car shipped out? Driving a long distance can really take it out of you and your car, particularly if you forgot to look after it well over the winter months.

Don’t forget though, that when you get behind a wheel, it’s your responsibility to drive safely and follow the rules of the road. Be prepared though for drivers to make mistakes as they’re only human. Even if you are driving safely, you still might be involved in an accident that causes you to injure yourself. If this is the case, then you should hire a law firm to help you get the compensation that you deserve. There are plenty of law firms out there that would be happy to help. If you don’t know who to use, then you could always check out lamber goodnow to give you a better idea of what you should be looking for.

Your main priority though is to make sure you look after your car, as this way you are lowering the chances of getting into an accident. It’s a lot easier to sort your car out after winter, particularly as lower gas prices are leaving more money in consumers’ pockets now, it’s an ideal time to invest those savings into your vehicle so it is safe, more dependable and lasts longer. After all, keeping your car well maintained lets you avoid the cost of higher payments and insurance increases. If you notice that your car isn’t running as it should, or if you’ve been considering upgrading to a new vehicle, it may be the perfect time to start considering a used car in Hutchinson, KS, if you live in the area. Make sure you do some thorough research to ensure you’re buying the right car for your needs as well as doing a thorough vehicle inspection too.

“Whether you visit a professional service technician or do it yourself, a thorough vehicle inspec­tion this spring can help keep your car safe and dependable, and help you avoid much higher costs down the road in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value,” White said.

“Your car has been through a long winter, working overtime in harsh conditions, but factors such as extreme cold, potholes and road salt have taken a toll,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “Most Americans rely on their vehicles nearly every day to get to work, school and everywhere in between, so taking the time for car care now can save headaches and money in the long run.”

A vehicle inspection should assess the following:
• Brakes
• Battery
• Levels and condition of all fluids
• Tires tread depth and air pressure
• Belts and hoses
• Wheel alignment
• Check engine light and other illuminated dash­board indicator lights
• Interior and exterior lights and wiper blades

In addition, a repair shop can perform a com­puterized analysis to identify problems with the engine’s performance.

Once your seasonal “check-up” is complete, you can ensure your vehicle’s ongoing bill of health with three simple steps:

1. Keep your vehicle clean.

Regular car washes and waxes protect the paint and body of your car from corrosive debris. In parts of the country where salt is used on the roads, regular washing is especially important.

2. Keep an eye on the little things.

Your windshield wipers aren’t cleaning as well as they should? Your gas tank is missing its cap? There’s a warning light on your dashboard? When you see your car needs attention, don’t delay. Repairing small things now can help avoid more costly problems down the road, and add years of useful vehicle life.

3. Keep your car on schedule.

Every vehicle has a manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule. Whether you choose to do your own main­tenance or patronize a local repair shop, following a routine service schedule is essential to keeping your car in safe and dependable working order.

Find additional information to help you drive smart, save money and be car care aware, including a custom service schedule and email reminder service, at www.carcare.org, or follow the Car Care Council on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

10 basic maintenance tips

Spring into action with these 10 basic maintenance procedures to make sure your vehicle is running at peak performance for the summer driving season.
1. Check all fluids including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and coolant.
2. Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show­ing signs of excessive wear.
3. Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
4. Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected
at each oil change.
5. Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.
6. Schedule an engine check to help it deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy, and produce the lowest level of emissions.
7. Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system, as proper cooling performance is critical for the comfort and safety of you and your passengers.
8. Inspect the steering
and suspension system annually including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
9. Check the tires including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
10. Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior light­ing is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

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