Merry Christmas, Car!
Sure, your car is a machine. An inanimate object. But when you rely on inanimate objects as much as we do our cars, it’s hard not to get attached to them and think of them as (almost) family. With Christmas right around the corner, how about a little Christmas love for the family member out in the garage?
At Don Duncan’s All American Auto & Tire Centers in Montgomery, AL, we’d like to offer up a few suggestions:
· Air filter: If your Christmas budget is stretched thin, an air filter’s a great idea for your car. The air filter prevents dust, pollen and other contaminants from entering your fuel system where they can cause damage, but a dirty and clogged air filter can impede air flow to a point where fuel economy and performance start to suffer. Air filters should be changed every 10-15,000 miles.
· Tire rotation: This one doesn’t even cost anything, at least on a set of tires purchased at Don Duncan’s All American Auto and Tire Centers. Tire rotation at regular intervals ensures that all four tires wear evenly for the life of the car. Sometimes tires are switched front-to-rear on the same sides, other times in a diagonal X pattern (depending on the design of the tires themselves). Tire rotations should be done every 5-7,000 miles. You’ll notice an immediate improvement in drivability, ride quality and handling!
· Oil change: Just like your dad probably told you years ago…oil changes at regular intervals are the single best way to get the most miles out of your engine. Motor oil lubricates moving parts and helps disperse heat, but it becomes contaminated over time. Pull your dipstick and have a look…is the oil amber and clear, or is it the color of black coffee?
· Wheel alignment: Your car leaves the factory with the front wheels set at specific angles for the best handling, steering response, drivability and ride quality. Over time, those angles can drift out of spec due to normal wear or a hard hit on railroad tracks, a pothole or a curb. Signs of alignment problems include a persistent pull to one side while driving on straight pavement, a failure of the wheel to center itself after turning, or uneven wear patterns on the front tires. Why fight the steering wheel of a car that constantly tries to pull itself to the right or left?
· Wipers: Even the best windshield wipers are only good for about a year, before normal wear and the sun’s UV rays start to degrade them. If your wipers are starting to look cracked, dried-out or are losing strips or chips of rubber, just go ahead and replace them. Your visibility is key to your safety, especially in winter weather.
· Transmission flush: This one is going to depend on how many miles you’ve got on your vehicle, and what it’s used for. Like motor oil, transmission fluid can become contaminated over time, resulting in sludgy or varnish-like deposits that can accumulate on sensitive internal assemblies. Transmission fluid flushes should be performed at about 30-50,000 mile intervals (depending on the vehicle), but more frequently if your vehicle is used for heavy work like hauling or towing heavy loads. Always check manufacturer’s recommendations for transmission flush intervals.
At Don Duncan’s All-American Auto & Tire Centers in Montgomery, AL, we want to wish you, your family and your car all the best this Christmas season. If you’re thinking any of these might be great Christmas ideas for your car, give us a call and make an appointment – our techs will be glad to fix you up, and your car will thank you.