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Monday, December 2, 2013

Winter Safety Tips

If you are due for a tune-up, have it done before winter hits! Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling. A routine tune-up will restore a vehicle back to its normal operating state, and contribute to the overall efficiency of the engine and emissions system. Keep your gas tank at least half full. This tip limits condensation in your tank and reduces gas-line freezing. Adding a little gas-line antifreeze every second fill-up will also help prevent gas-line freezing. Heaters, Defrosters and Wipers- Wiper blades that are cracked or torn, or that chatter, streak and don’t properly clean your windshield should be replaced. Some manufacturers offer special winter blades that have a rubber boot covering the arm assembly to keep snow and ice out. When changing the blades, have the windshield wiper system nozzles cleaned and adjusted if necessary, and check the windshield washer reservoir in case it needs fluid. Cooling System-As strange as it sounds your cooling system is one of the most important things to watch in your vehicle during the winter time. There are two things -- the concentration of coolant, and the amount. In most parts of the US, a 50/50 mix of coolant and water keeps the coolant from freezing, lubricates the water pump, and protects the cooling system from corrosion. In very cold areas, it may be necessary to increase the concentration of coolant – but never more than 70% coolant to 30% water. Also, coolant should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles. Check battery and charging system for optimum performance. Very cold temperatures will reduce a vehicle's battery power so it’s important to keep the connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Unfortunately, batteries don't always give warning signs before they fail completely. If your vehicle's battery is more than three years old, it's wise to replace it. When choosing a replacement, make sure the new one has adequate capacity for your exact make and model.

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