Reminders to keep things running smoothly
Everyone talks about winterizing cars, but did you know you should also prepare your car for summer?
Canadian winters can be especially harsh on your vehicle. All of that snow, ice, road salt and sub-zero temperatures can reak havoc on your car.
Here are a few important maintenance tips, courtesy of Mazda Canada, that will not only keep your vehicle running smoothly and help prevent roadside emergencies, but could also save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs by avoiding problems before they arise.
• Clean the top of your battery: Did you know dirt on a battery can conduct electrical currents and drain battery power even when your car is parked? Make sure the top is clean and dry and the cable connections are clean and tight.
• Check your air-conditioner: A marginally operating system is likely to fail in hot weather. This is especially important in older vehicles where fixing a broken air-conditioner can cost hundreds of dollars. “Most people take their car’s air conditioner for granted until it doesn’t work anymore,” said Annie Colman, field service operations manager at Mazda Canada. “Having your air conditioner checked in the spring is a relatively low cost service that can keep small problems from becoming expensive ones.”
• Replace worn-out windshield wiper blades: Severe temperature fluctuations and removing ice and snow from can crack or tear wiper blades reducing their effectiveness and your visibility.
• Check tire pressure and tread wear: Worn tread can cause your tires to lose contact with the pavement, reducing braking and steering performance. Under inflation of tires reduces tread life, increases fuel consumption (just one tire down by eight psi can cost you two weeks’ worth of fuel per year) and could result in tire damage or failure. Over-inflation, caused by rising summer temps, can also affect your vehicle’s handling and increased tire wear.
• Check fluids: The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating, which can be caused by low coolant and oil levels.
• Underbody maintenance: Flush your car’s underbody and wheel housings to remove winter’s accumulation of corrosive salt and road chemicals. Pay special attention to areas that hide mud and dirt, as it will do more harm than good to wet the road grime without removing it.