(NUI) - Summertime and the living is easy ... unless your car stalls or overheats. So act now to prevent breakdowns. Summer's heat and heavy stop-and-go traffic can cause weak systems to fail.
"Routine maintenance and service will make your vehicle last longer, protect its resale value and will give you peace of mind," note the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) - a nonprofit organization that tests and certifies the competence of automotive technicians.
ASE offers the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summertime driving:
* Read your owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's recommended service schedules.
* Correct hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc., before hot weather sets in.
* Flush and refill the cooling system (radiator) according to the service manual's recommendations. The level, condition and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has cooled.)
* If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified automotive technicians.
* The tightness and condition of belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a qualified auto technician.
* For your comfort, have a marginally operating air conditioner
system examined by a qualified technician.
* Change oil and oil filter as specified in owner's manual.
* Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended.
* Check the condition of tires; make sure the spare is properly inflated and the tire jack is in good working condition. Let tires "cool down" before checking air pressure.
* Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs.
* Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer fluid solvent on hand.
* Safety tip: Carry some basic tools - ask a technician for suggestions - also a first aid kit, flares, flashlight and a cellular phone.
For a free brochure with summertime maintenance tips, send a self-addressed, stamped business-sized envelope to: ASE Summer Brochure, Dept. NU-991, 13505 Dulles Technology Drive., Suite 2, Herndon, VA 20171-3421.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign. More than 425,000 technicians hold ASE credentials.