How Important Is a Summer Check-Up for Your Car?
Very Important! Your summer plans will go much better if your car is in good health and a pre -vacation check up is a good start. Just like spring house cleaning, seasonal check ups for your car should be regularly scheduled events.
Treat your car to a summer check up for happy summer motoring.
Most dealerships and garages will do a free check up for you, or for a nominal fee. Many dealers include an overall checkup as part of their oil change service. Even if there is a nominal fee, you cannot put a price on safety.
Making an appointment with a local garage is easy. An excellent auto shop in the Hastings , Minnesota area is AA AutoTech. This is a full service repair facility that can handle everything from regular maintenance to major repair work including brakes, tune ups, tires, and exhaust. They can also perform engine and transmission replacement on all makes, both domestic and foreign.
Visit their website at http://www.aaautotech.com/ or call (651) 437-2218. They are located at 1318 Frontage Road, Hastings MN.
Things you can check yourself.
- Tires. Make a visual examination of your tires. Look for cuts on the sidewall, worn tread or scuffs from rubbing a curb. Don't forget to check the spare.
- Air pressure. Do any of the tires look like they need air? A tire gauge is inexpensive and easy to use or you can get this checked when you stop for gas. Don't forget to check the spare tire
- Check all lights, and make sure directional signals and brake lights work. Have someone watch while you operate the brakes and signals
- The horn is another safety feature that is often overlooked.
- Replace worn windshield wipers.
Some things are best left to the Pro.
- Battery, belts and hoses are things best left to a pro. This is usually not a concern if your car is three years old or less, but it is better to have them checked by a pro.
Take a Road Test.
Taking your car for a road test will highlight things to bring to the attention of your mechanic.
Do not do this on a busy road or exceed speed limits.
- Wheel balance. Bring your car up to highway speed. Is there any vibration? A jiggle in the steering wheel could be an out of balance or unevenly worn tire.
- Alignment. On a straight stretch, if you hold the wheel lightly for a moment, does your car stay straight ahead or wander to one side. Wandering could be anything from simple alignment problem to a damaged suspension.
- Going up hills, is there any sign of hesitation, or when you accelerate is the car smooth and free of unusual noises.
- Brakes. On a straight stretch, apply the brakes gently. Do you hear any scraping or unusual sounds?
Apply the brakes firmly, (be sure to check that there is no one behind you) Does the car stay straight or pull to one side?
If any of these occur, have your car checked by a professional.
- Roadside Assistance
Another good thing to have is roadside assistance. There are several companies that offer roadside insurance for an annual membership fee. Your auto insurance company may offer this at a very reasonable cost that can be included in your premium.
If you have a newer model, ask your dealer if they offer a roadside assistance program.
All set? Looks like the only thing left is to have a safe and happy summer!