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September 24, 2009

Meineke Offers Fall Car Care Advice

Fall car care With a new season comes a rejuvenated spirit, fall cleaning – and vehicle maintenance. Therefore, after the road trips that many people took over the summer, Meineke Car Care Centers are encouraging drivers to make sure their vehicles undergo a maintenance check for the autumn season.

"It is critical that cars have periodical, thorough inspections by a qualified technician," said Don Rauch, director of dealer communications for Meineke Car Care Centers, Inc. “A car maintenance check-up and some simple service can really reduce the cost of car ownership." Rauch suggests the following advice:

Meineke Car Care Center's Top Fall Car Care Tips

1. With cooler weather soon heading way, keep the windshield wiper fluid reservoir full. When topping off, use some windshield washer fluid on a rag to clean off the wiper blades. In winter months, pay attention to the freezing point of the washer fluid.

2. Inspect belts and hoses. Replace worn, glazed or frayed belts. Tighten them when more than ½" of slack can be depressed between the pulleys. Vehicles with spring loaded belt tensioners require no adjustment. Replace bulging, rotten, or brittle hoses and tighten clamps. If a hose feels too soft or too hard, it should be replaced.

3. Check the antifreeze/coolant level. Some cars have transparent reservoirs with level markings. Fill to level marking with 50/50 solution of antifreeze and water.
Caution: Do not remove the pressure cap when engine is hot.

4. To maintain peak performance, change oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. Replace oil filter with every oil change.

5. Check transmission fluid with engine warm and running, and parking brake on. Shift to drive, then to park. Remove dipstick, wipe dry, insert it and remove it again. Add the approved type fluid, if needed. Be sure not to overfill.

It's also important to remember that proper tire inflation, regular engine tuning, oil and air filter changes can do more than keep your car running smoothly: they actually save gas. Getting a regular check-up is not only vital to the safety of your car, it can save time, money and inconvenience – now and later.

For more fall car care tips from RTM, click here.

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