Spring driving brings its own hazards such as slick, wet roads. It’s important to make sure your tires, brakes and windshield wipers are ready for the rain. There’s no better time to get your car ready for spring driving and summer road trips than April.
Basic maintenance can go a long way toward improving the safety and dependability of your vehicle, plus it helps avoid costly repairs down the road. Neglecting vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the road in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value.
How Can You Promote National Car Care Month in Your Business?
As consumers transition from cold weather to warm weather, they adopt an overall spring cleaning mind-set, whether it’s with their house, lawn or vehicle. Help your customers be car care aware by passing out helpful information, emailing articles on car care, sending them a service schedule reminder or hosting a free vehicle check event. Visit www.carcare.org for free resources, tools, fliers, videos and more to share with your customers.
April is a huge opportunity for parts stores and repair shops to market their products and services to consumers who are in the mood to fix up their vehicles and get back out on the road. There is plenty of undone work out there. Leverage National Car Care Month to capture it.
The Car Care Council recommends 10 basic maintenance procedures to keep your car operating at its best:
1) Check the oil, filters and fluids. Oil should be checked at every fill-up and changed per the owner’s manual recommended intervals. Brake, transmission, power steering, coolant and windshield washer fluids should also be checked regularly. Your car’s filters, including those for the transmission, fuel system and interior ventilation, need regular inspection and replacement.
2) Inspect hoses at each oil change and have them replaced when leaking, brittle, cracked, rusted, swollen or restricted. Check V-belts and serpentine belts for looseness and condition, and have them replaced when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Typically replace the timing belt between 60,000 and 90,000 miles or the interval specified in the owner’s manual to avoid a breakdown or serious engine damage.
3) Check the brake system every year and have the brake linings, rotors, and drums inspected at each oil change.
4) Check that the battery connections are clean, tight, and corrosion-free. The battery should be securely mounted. If it is three years old or more, the battery should be tested and replaced if necessary.
5) Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage, and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.
6) Schedule a tune-up that will help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
7) Check the car’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting.
8) Inspect the steering and suspension system annually, including shock absorbers and struts, and chassis parts, such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
9) Check the pressure of all tires, including the spare, at least once a month. Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and cuts and bruises along the sidewalls. Maintaining proper tire pressure can also ensure your vehicle’s best fuel economy, as well ensure safe handling while driving. Have your car’s alignment checked at least annually to reduce tire wear and improve fuel economy and handling.
10) Test exterior and interior lights and have bulbs that are not working checked immediately. Replace windshield wiper blades every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering for optimum wiping performance and safety.