(NUI) - The beaches and mountains beckon. But before you head out for fun, better make sure your vehicle is up to the challenge of summer's heat, dust and stop-and-go conditions. Here's advice from the pros at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
o Follow the service intervals recommended in your owner's manual.
o Have engine performance problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc.) identified and corrected.
o Look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified automotive technicians to do those jobs you cannot or do not want to perform.
o The cooling system should be flushed and refilled according to the manual's recommendations. The level, condition and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (Tip: Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled!)
o The tightness and condition of belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a qualified auto technician.
o For your comfort, have a marginally operating air conditioning system serviced.
o Change oil and oil filter as specified in owner's
manual; replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended.
o Check the condition of tires, including the spare. (Tip: Let tires "cool down" before checking air pressure.)
o Inspect all lights and replace any burned out bulbs.
o Replace worn wiper blades. (Tip: Keep plenty of washer fluid on hand to fight dust and insects.)
For a free brochure with summer maintenance tips, send a self-addressed, stamped business-sized envelope to: ASE Summer Brochure, Dept. NU-005, 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 ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.
Visit www.asecert.org for more information.