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Happily Ever After With Your Car

If you want to add more years to the relationship between you and your car, give it a little extra attention this Valentine’s Day in the form of an oil change, tune-up or other loving service to make sure it runs happily ever after. Just a little extra care can lead to a longer life for your car.

There’s no debating the value of preventive maintenance to keep your car running efficiently.By giving your vehicle a little more attention now, you’ll avoid the heartbreak and unexpected expense of car trouble down the road.

8 Signs Your Car Has Pothole Damage

A pothole can be your car’s worst enemy. These holes or pits on a road’s surface can seriously damage a vehicle’s ride control system.

If you do drive over a pothole, have your car’s shocks or struts checked to make sure they aren’t damaged.

Shocks and struts control how vehicles ride and handle. The shock absorbers, or struts act as a cushion to dampen the bouncing action of a car’s springs. The springs absorb the road bumps; without them, the vehicle would continually bounce and bound down the road, making driving extremely difficult.

How to Shop For a Battery

If your car battery is dead or even weak, you’re not going anywhere. It is the leading cause of starting trouble, whether because of lights left on, a charging system problem or other cause.

Sometimes it is just that the battery has outlived its usefulness. But even at best, a healthy battery in 80-degree weather has only half of its output when the thermometer dips to zero.

Stress Management Works for Holidays and Automobiles

In domino fashion, failing to plan for maintenance can turn small problems into larger ones, putting a serious dent in your automotive budget. The penalties of procrastinating on vehicle maintenance range from a heater that runs cold to a battery that won’t start the car.

Take care of your car’s seasonal services immediately and make plans to get ahead of the game next year. An early visit to your repair facility provides the opportunity to budget for unanticipated repairs. The Car Care Council offers the following checklist:

Don’t Let Your Thanksgiving Road Trip be a Turkey

One way to ensure you will get to dinner in time for turkey on Thanksgiving weekend is by making sure that the vehicle you will be driving is running well. A 10-minute pre-trip check is small potatoes compared to a big helping of inconvenience if you break down many miles away from home.

October is Fall Car Care Month

Fall Car Care Month is a great reminder to make sure that your vehicle is ready for winter and up-to-date on all maintenance and repair items.

Taking time out to check on your vehicle’s condition is an important part of taking care of your second largest investment. Results of vehicle check-ups at community car care events across the country last year revealed that 80% of vehicles needed immediate service or parts.

Happy Fall! Time to Think About Your Coolant

It's the beginning of fall, and time to consider your coolant.

This is a good time to think about your engine cooling system. Regular inspections and pressure tests of your cooling system are of utmost importance, as is good maintenance by following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended coolant change intervals.

As time passes, the protective anti-corrosive additives in the antifreeze break down and lose their effectiveness. But antifreeze has two other very important jobs as well:

• It is used to decrease the temperature at which the coolant freezes.

How to Tell if Water Has Damaged Your Car

With heavy rain pounding many parts of the country, there’s a good chance that you’ll experience high water that could damage your vehicle. Even though your vehicle may not have been flooded or completely covered in water, the Car Care Council recommends that motorists follow these guidelines to check for damage due to water intrusion or contamination:

Is Your Car Back-to-School Ready?

In August it’s easy for students to remember to get new clothes, school supplies and dorm or apartment furniture, but what about preparing the car that’s going to haul all that stuff? We want to remind students and their parents not to overlook Vehicle Maintenance 101.

Making sure the college-bound vehicle gets a passing grade will give both the student and their parents peace of mind for the drive back to school and the first semester of crusing around. It’s always a good idea to inspect a vehicle and have any repairs done near home, at a familiar repair shop.

Extreme Summer Heat Can Burn Up Car Batteries

This summer’s extreme temperatures can destroy a vehicle’s battery. The Car Care Council advises vehicle owners to have their cars’ batteries tested periodically and replaced, if necessary, to avoid being stranded.

Excessive heat and overcharging shortens the life of a battery. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery.

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