Spring car-care tips


By GateHouse News Service

Posted Apr 12, 2010 @ 08:00 AM

Tip of the Week

April is National Car Care Month, the time of year that serves as a reminder for drivers to think about the condition of their vehicles. Alan Gustafson, crew chief of veteran NASCAR driver Mark Martin's No. 5 car, recommends a few simple checklist items to help keep your car running at optimal performance leading into the expected busy spring travel season:

A - Motor oil is a must: Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on an engine if it is not cared for properly, as cold startups are among the most severe conditions that engines undergo. Drivers need to protect their vehicles with a quality motor oil to endure the varying temperatures as most of the country changes from cooler to warmer temperatures. The changing of seasons serves as an excellent reminder of the importance of using high-quality motor oils in your engine.

B - Make a date to inflate: As the weather gets warmer and temperatures increase, tire pressure changes. Under-inflated tires reduce a vehicle's fuel efficiency by an average of 3.3 percent, according to Tires should be checked monthly to make sure that they are inflated to manufacturers' recommendations, which can typically be found on the vehicle door placard or in the glove box. Be sure to avoid over-inflating the tires, as this can lead to premature or irregular tire wear.

C - Clean your fuel system: Many drivers use a fuel system cleaner in the winter to combat the cold weather conditions and to ease the stress on their engines during cold startups. Continuing the use of that fuel system cleaner after the colder months is also a good idea, as gunk and deposits collect in the fuel system.




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