Springtime Auto Maintenance…Repair, Replace or Replenish?
When the flowers start to bloom and the temperatures start to rise…that’s a great time to get some routine auto maintenance done. It makes sense because spring usually means showers, thunderstorms and slick roads (how are your tires and wipers?) and also means that summer’s hot weather will be coming up soon. This is a great checklist of inspection and maintenance items for spring:
· Wipers: It doesn’t really matter what kind of wipers you have – even the best wipers are only good for about a year before normal wear and the sun’s UV rays take their toll. If you are noticing streaks on the windshield or if your wipers are dried out, cracked , chipped or losing strips of rubber, go ahead and replace them. It’s a simple seasonal fix that can greatly improve your safety in wet weather.
· Air conditioner: Nobody likes driving around in a stuffy, uncomfortable car. Usually a weak A/C system is just low on refrigerant, since even a late-model car can lose 5-10 percent of its refrigerant over a year’s time. Spring is the perfect time to recharge A/C systems. Refrigerant includes an oil to lubricate moving parts, and a bright dye that makes it easy to spot any leaks around seals, O-rings or lines.
· Coolant: You know it’s going to get hot, and your car’s radiator and coolant protect against boilovers and overheating as much as freezeups in the winter. Coolant gets compromised over time, though, and starts to get contaminated with corrosion and gunk, losing its cooling ability. That’s why manufacturers recommend a complete cooling system flush and pressure check at regular intervals, usually 40-60,000 miles. Failing to change coolant regularly can result in a clogged radiator or heater core, or even a failed water pump due to corrosion.
· Oil change: Your motor oil protects the engine against friction between moving parts, and helps disperse heat from normal operation. It also becomes degraded over time, picking up carbon and acids from the combustion process and tiny metal particles from normal wear. Conventional motor oil should be changed about every 5,000 miles, and synthetic oil at a 10-12,000 mile interval.
· Transmission service: Your automatic transmission’s fluid (ATF) cools and lubricates internal components as well as helping to transmit torque and power through the unit. Like motor oil, though, it starts to break down and lose its cooling and lubricating ability. If left too long, ATF will start to leave sediment and deposits on precision internal parts, and should be changed regularly (consult your owner’s manual). It should be changed more often if your vehicle is used for extreme duty such as towing or hauling heavy loads.
At Don Duncan’s All American Auto & Tire Centers in Montgomery, AL, our ASE-certified techs are well experienced and trained for auto repair and maintenance on a wide range of vehicles. Make sure your car is ready for spring and summer – make an appointment with us today and let us get you taken care of!