Plan Now to Avoid Vacation Breakdowns

(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.

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