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Car Maintenance

Taking Care Of Your Second Love: Your Car

(NAPSI)-Special occasions aren't the only times to celebrate your loved ones. As the calendar year marches on, it is always important to let the people (and things) that matter the most to you know how much you care for them. Send the special woman in your life flowers for no reason at all. Treat the kids to double scoops of their favorite ice cream. Take the dog in for a grooming session.

And while you're at it, don't forget to show your second love some affection too-your car, of course! According to Greg Damon, an ASE-certified technician and this year's winner of the Amoco Ultimate® Golden Mechanic contest, to ensure that a vehicle performs at its best, drivers need to treat their vehicles with continuous, loving care. This helps drivers avoid the pain of unnecessary breakdowns and long-term auto repair problems.

To help keep your love affair with your car alive, Damon shares his expert advice for how consumers can take care of their vehicles throughout the year:

• Indulge in a bubble bath. Dust, debris, salt and sludge can accumulate on the outside of your vehicle, especially during the winter months. And like its interior, your car's exterior requires regular maintenance, too. Take your car through a thorough car wash to protect the paint and keep it looking shiny and clean.

• When only quality will do. At the pump, be sure to fill up with a quality fuel like Amoco® Fuels at BP. All grades of Amoco Fuels-regular, mid-grade and premium-have been rated #1 in quality for 16 years, according to consumers in an annual nationwide survey. Check your owner's manual to determine the best octane for your car. If your car requires premium or 93 octane, try Amoco Ultimate® fuel at BP. With continuous use, it can clean up a dirty engine and you can begin to enjoy better starts, smoother acceleration and maybe even improved fuel economy.

• Drinks are on me. To ensure a smoother ride, check the level of all your car's fluids weekly and replenish when needed. Checking the fluids takes no more than five minutes and makes a world of difference. Remember to check wiper washer fluids, transmission fluid and engine oil.

• Have you lost weight? Your tires may have lost a few pounds of air during the winter months due to the colder temperatures. Remember to inspect tread depth and sidewalls for hairline cracks or any signs of deterioration. Be sure to replace your tires when the tread wears down to 2/32 (or 1/16) of an inch.

• Relax with a "car-apy" session. Keep your car in its best shape by taking it in for regular maintenance with a trusted mechanic. Look for an ASE-certified technician-they are trained to make sure your car is running safely.

• Spring for a shopping spree. Give your vehicle a little TLC with some fun car accessories. Fill your shopping cart with an air freshener, new seat covers or floor mats, to name a few, for that added touch.

BP is also giving consumers the chance to pamper themselves and their loved ones, including their cars, with the BP "Feel the Love" Sweepstakes. Between February 7 and April 3, 2007, consumers can visit participating BP stations or the Web site at for a chance to win Amoco Fuel from BP for life, a 2007 Ford Edge or other great prizes. For sweepstakes details and official rules, visit or participating BP stations.

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Must be 21 years old. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. excluding residents of Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia. Game begins 12:00:01 a.m. CST February 7 and ends 11:59:59 p.m. CST April 3, 2007. Prizes: One Grand Prize: BP Gas for Life, awarded as pre-loaded fuel card that will be reloaded with $2,669 in value annually for 35 years. One First Prize: 2007 Ford Edge and BP Gas for a Year, awarded in the form of three $500 BP Gift Cards. Two Second Prizes: Winner's choice of spa trip to Scottsdale, Ariz., or golf trip to Orlando, Fla. 2,000 Third Prizes: $50 BP Gift Card. Total prize value: $240,290. Sponsor: BP Products North America, Inc., 28100 Torch Parkway, Warrenville, IL 60555.

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