Tag Archives: Belts and hoses

Prep Your Vehicle For Summer

Summer heat and unexpected breakdowns are hard on those with disabilities. High summer temperatures also take their toll on the engine. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual and your vehicle will hopefully make it through the summer in a breeze.

Some jobs you or a friend may be able do, while others are best left to the professionals.

  • Check the air conditioning and inspect belts and hoses. When is the last time you had the entire system inspected?
  • Inspect batteries and cables for corrosion, cracks and dirt. Have it tested if it’s near the end of its warranty. It’s a lot easier to replace a battery before a trip than replace a dead one on the side of the road.
  • Have a professional inspect your brake pads and linings for wear.
  • Change the engine oil and filter according to the service schedule. Check fluids, including coolant, brake, automatic transmission, windshield wiper and power steering.
  • Replace wiper blades once a year.
  • You probably check your tires’ air pressure, but what about the spare?
  • You can significantly alter the car’s performance by rotating the tires.
  • Test the lights – interior and exterior, including turn signals and high beams – to make sure they work. And clean them.
  • Change the air filter. A dirty filter lowers gas mileage and reduces engine performance.
  • Consider an inspection by a qualified technician before leaving on a trip. Repairs made on the road will be more costly.
  • A professional should inspect the radiator, pressure cap, belts and hoses. If it’s time, flush and refill the cooling system.

Buckle up and don’t leave home without your cell phone and your disabled parking permit.

How To Spring Your Vehicle Out of Winter

With record snowfalls and cold temperatures this winter has been a tough one, so it’s nice to know that Spring is just around the corner. That thick layer of dried road salt is a good reminder of just how hard winter has been on your vehicle, making the transition to spring an important time to give your car some much-needed TLC.

Battery: If you’ve started your car during extreme cold, you’ve heard the hesitation. Winter weather can be tough on all the starting components in your car like the alternator and starter. In turn, this increases the strain on the battery. Spring is a good time to get your battery tested and, if needed, replaced. If you’ve noticed that your interior lights are a bit dimmer or that your power windows move more slowly when the engine is off, this can be a sign that the end of your battery is near.

Brakes: Winter weather and road salt can be rough on your brakes. This is an important time to get these crucial safety items checked, including lines, hoses, parking brake and brake fluid.

Alignment: With potholes and heaves in the payment, there’s a good chance that winter may have knocked your car out of alignment. Getting your wheels realigned can save wear and tear on your tires and improve your gas mileage. Also a car that is out of alignment can be more difficult to steer and stop which can jeopardize your safety.

Tires: When the temperature changes, you may notice that your tires are a bit soft. Keep them at the right pressure for optimal gas mileage. Give a visual inspection to ensure that you have plenty of tread left, as well. Spring showers will mean wet and flooded roads, so be sure your tires can grip. If you are not certain what the tire pressure should be, check the information on the inside of your door.

Belts and hoses: Extreme temperatures can shorten the life of these vital engine components, leading to cracks and peeling on the belts and hoses. A quick inspection can help ensure that you won’t be surprised by a broken belt or hose.

Filters and Fluids: As part of your regular maintenance, be sure to have your filters and fluids checked, including engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and antifreeze.

Wipers: Check your wipers for wear and cracks, and replace them if needed. Be sure that the wiper fluid reservoir is refilled.

Exterior: After months of sand and salt, it’s likely your car is well overdue for a washing. Winter’s road grime can be especially harsh on the exterior of your car, making a car wash a great idea. Besides, it will look great, too!

Under Your Vehicle: During winter vehicles are subject to rust and corrosion due to tons of road salt and other airborne pollutants that can cause rapid deterioration of your vehicle. Rust is an example of corrosion. Rust is a serious problem and spreads like a rash. It can shorten the lifespan and value of any vehicle. Correct rust proofing on a regular basis can ensure that your vehicle does not suffer from corrosion related vehicle downtime and keep your van from falling apart. The best time to prevent rust damage to your vehicle is in Autumn: before the first snowflake falls and Spring: after the first heavy rain fall; a little vehicle maintenance will help keep the rust away.