Back to School Car Care Tips
Back to School season is here and with it a flurry of activity to establish a routine that works with everyone's schedule. Supplies have been bought, clothes tried on and it's time to drive the kids to school each morning.
Back to school also means more drivers on the road with potential traffic slowdowns and mishaps. We can't predict gridlock patterns but you can take care of your vehicle with these maintenance tips.
Batteries should be replaced every three to five years. If your car has trouble starting or the electrical system (headlights, radio, wipers) is on the bum, the battery or alternator could be the problem.
Underinflated tires affect safety and impact fuel economy, and will shorten their life. Check pressure regularly. Tip: The correct pressure is shown on a sticker in the driver's side door or glove box and in the owner's manual-not on the tire.
You also need to check tire treads to ensure they have enough life in them. If you see any uneven wear, get them checked as soon as possible. You must have 2/32-inch tread on the tires, which you can check by placing a penny into several tread grooves across the tire. If part of Lincoln's head is always covered by the tread, you have more than 2/32-inch of tread depth remaining. You must have at least 2/32-inch tread on the tires, although 4/32 inch of tread is even better. To check for 4/32, do the same thing, except use a quarter and see if the tread touches Washington's head. Don't forget to check your spare monthly, too!
Fluid fill up
Monitoring your car's fluid levels is one of the best things you can do to maintain your vehicle. Your owner's manual outlines the location of each of these fluids, even though most reservoirs are labeled. Make sure the vehicle is parked on a level surface and the engine is cool.
Engine oil or transmission fluid is checked with level-indicating dipsticks. Power-steering and brake fluids usually are contained in level-marked reservoirs. When it comes to wiper fluid, just fill it up to the line and check every time you stop at a gas station.
Use extra caution when checking coolant level. Follow the instructions in your owner's manual and adhere to the warning labels under the hood. Ideally, you'll be able to look through the side of the coolant overflow tank and not have to open the tank itself. Never, ever open the radiator cap if the car has been driven within the past several hours. The fluid contained in a radiator can become extremely hot and scald flesh.
While you're under the hood, always check for loose wires or connections, worn or exposed wires, or loose or warped belts. All need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
Accidents happen, but are you prepared? Pack an emergency kit so you're well-prepared for almost anything.
Kit basics include:
• first-aid kit
• warning light
• hazard triangle or flares
• spare fuses
• $20 in small bills and change
• tire-changing jack
• lug wrench
Stay safe on the road this season and if you aren't a do-it-yourselfer our service team can help you with these maintenance tips.