While you’re busy preparing for another holiday season, don’t let car care take a back seat. Neglected auto care almost always means much higher costs down the road in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value. The non-profit Car Care Council recommends that you be car care aware to ensure your car doesn’t gobble up your hard-earned money.
“If you’re like most Americans, you’re busier than ever this time of year and may find yourself putting off vehicle maintenance,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It’s important to remember that routine auto care means big savings by improving fuel economy, extending vehicle life and reducing the chance of costly car trouble.”
The Car Care Council suggests a quick vehicle check to help avoid the unplanned expense of a breakdown when traveling by car this holiday season.
• Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
• Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
• Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
• Check lighting to identify any problems with exterior and interior lighting, as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen.
• Check wipers. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months. Make sure the windshield wipers are working properly and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.
The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit. To save on fuel costs during the trip, the council suggests that motorists avoid aggressive driving, observe the speed limit and avoid excessive idling. Gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing should be replaced to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.
The Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle this holiday season and throughout the year. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.