Spring Windshield Refresher

By Matthew Wright

With money a little tighter, many families who might have jumped onto a plane for a jaunt in the Caribbean are opting for a road trip to Grandma's instead. Driving trips can be fun, what a great chance to get to know your family more intimately than you might have wanted. Whether you're looking forward to 7 hours in the car with them or not, you do want everyone to arrive safely. Windshield maintenance is an often overlooked chore. In snowy regions, we won't take a winter trip to the convenient store without half a tank of windshield washer fluid in there. Salty, muddy roads can blind you instantly without good wipers and washers. But in warm weather we seem to forget that we need things to be up to snuff. You'll be traveling to an area you don't frequent. If you're caught off guard by a summer storm, that's no time to realize your wipers are shot.

Take a minute to do these quick jobs and you'll have some added peace of mind on your next road trip.

1. Replace your windshield wipers. A 5-minute job that can save your life.

2. Top off your washer fluid. Less than 5 minutes for this one.

Apply a windshield treatment. Some people swear by it, read this and decide for yourself!

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Advice for Car Owners

Preventive car care helps protect your safety and your car investment.

Check the car owner’s manual for the recommended maintenance schedule. Follow the specified maintenance schedule.

Very important to change the engine oil and oil filter per manufacturer’s recommendations.

Check the car owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure.

Use a pressure gauge to check the tire pressure at least once a month.

Check the tire thread; there is a minimum thread required for safe driving.

When replacing tires, it is best to replace all four at the same time.

Every so often, switch on the air conditioner in the winter and the heater in the summer for a few minutes. This keeps seals lubricated and other moving parts functioning smoothly.

Scan the instrument panel at regular intervals so that you catch an illuminated warning lights or a gauge with an unusual reading

Scan the instrument panel at regular intervals so that you catch an illuminated warning lights or a gauge with an unusual reading

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Performing Regular Maintenance

Don't forget the maintenance! It's the little things that count, and checking a few of these little things off your list will put you ahead of the game, and ease the pain in your wallet. Most maintenance checks only take a minute, and most maintenance tasks can be tackled in an afternoon. Don't maintain your car and you'll pay the price down the road.

How to Safely Wax Your Car
If your car is more than 3 years old, you need to have a layer of wax protection to keep your paint safe. Waxing your car can add years to the life of your car's paint job and let it really shine in the meantime. Wax protects your car from all sorts of things like weather, road debris, rocks, neighborhood kids, etc. If it's time to wax your car, be sure you know how to do it right so that you don't damage your car's expensive paint finish. Buff it to a shine!

Fix Your Warm A/C: Recharge Your Air Conditioning with Freon
If your air conditioning is warm, you're mad about having warm AC. A/C is important in the summer, and you can recharge your own air conditioning by adding freon yourself. It's easy to add freon to charge your car's ac system so that you will be finished with warm air conditioning. If you use R134 instead of the older R12 refrigerant, you're in luck.


Winter Auto Maintenance Checklist

By Matthew Wright

Winter is upon us, and winter driving comes with it. While safety is an important consideration all year long, there are certainly some auto maintenance jobs and safety checks that are specific to chilled air and winter driving that are a good idea to check into before we're knee deep in the season. To be sure you don't end up a road popsicle, or even worse end up with your holiday budget on ice thanks to unexpected repairs, have a look under the hood to be sure things are ship shape. As with any change of season, you should go to your regular maintenance log to make sure you are up to date on the maintenance items that should be taken care of throughout the year. The change of seasons is a great time to go through some once-a-year or twice-a-year auto maintenance tasks.

Winter Specific Maintenance

In addition to the added perils of winter driving, the change in weather can bring peril to your car's systems. Freezing temps, salted roads and wintery precipitation can gang up on your car if you don't give it a baseball-bat sized maintenance session. These winter maintenance jobs will keep you out of trouble:


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