April is National Car Care Month, and auto shops around the country are gearing up to get your car running smoothly! It's the perfect time to have any winter damage repaired, and to get your car, summer road trip ready. Heat, long trips, and heavy loads during the summer months can lead to a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle if it's not properly maintained. Regular maintenance and repair is the best way to ensure maximum safety and reliability of your vehicle and can save you money in the long run. Below are our Maintenance Musts for April:
1. Cooling System – The entire system should be checked, including the radiator, coolant, belts and hoses, cooling fans, heater core, and water pump. The radiator and belts/hoses take a beating during the cold winter months and can lead to serious engine damage if not checked.
2. Tires – Make sure your tires are road trip ready by checking both their pressure and tread. Tire pressure fluctuates with the weather and will increase approximately one pound per every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. For tire tread, the minimum acceptable tread depth is 3/32 inch—that's the distance from the edge of a penny to the top of Abe's head.
3. Steering and Suspension – Winter can be tough on a vehicle's suspension. We recommend having your suspension and the front end checked annually, including ball joints, tie rods and steering components.
4. Oil Change – As always, your vehicle should have an oil change at least every 5,000 miles. This is particularly important as the weather gets warmer because rising temperatures outside combined with a hot engine can be disastrous without the proper lubrication.
5. Transmission – If your transmission is close to its recommended service interval, have it checked. Make sure the transmission fluid is clean and, if necessary, have it flushed.
According to the Car Care Council, 8 out of every 10 vehicles failed at least one component of their inspection during last year's National Car Care Month—that's an 80% failure rate of vehicles on the road! Help us lower that statistic and make the roads safer by bringing your car in for a tune-up during National Car Care Month.
For more information about National Car Care Month, you can visit the Car Care Council's website.
10 Ways Regular Car Maintenance Can Save You Money at the Pump
As the temperature outside rises, so does the price of fuel. Keep your cool at the pump this spring by performing these mileage increasing maintenance tips from the Car Care Council:
1. Properly Inflated Tires = Deflated Gas Prices – A properly inflated tire can improve your gas mileage by 4 percent.
2. Clear The Air – Simply replacing dirty or clogged air filters can improve gas mileage by as much as 14 percent! 3. A Well-Oiled Machine – By changing your vehicle's oil regularly and keeping it properly lubricated, you can gain another mile per gallon.
4. Rekindle the Spark – A misfiring engine wastes fuel, so replace dirty spark plugs and improve your mileage by two miles per gallon.
5. Put a Cap on It – A loose gas cap will allow gas to vaporize. Next time you're at the pump, double check that your gas cap is nice and tight.
6. De-Junk the Trunk - Doing a little spring cleaning in your trunk can increase your gas mileage by as much as 2 percent.
7. Cruise to Savings – Fuel economy worsens rapidly above 60 mph, so observe the speed limit and save some gas.
8. Easy Does It – Aggressive driving and/or quick starts and stops can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
9. Consolidate trips- A longer multi-purpose trip uses half as much gas as several short trips taken from a cold start.
10. Avoid Idling – When a car is idling, it gets 0 miles per gallon.
According to the Car Care Council, 60 percent of people claim that rising gas prices have changed their driving behavior. Furthermore, 90 percent say that they drive less and 75 percent say that they are maintaining their vehicles better. Shouldn't you be one of them?